Book Review

Endangered Species Have Feelings Too
by Alexandra Delis-Abrams, Ph.D.
Illustrations by Kim Howard
ABC Feelings
reviewed by Anita Lock

“It’s going to take all of us. We can’t wait for anyone else to do it. It’s up to you and me!”

Endangered Species Have Feelings Too is a coloring book specifically designed to educate young readers about the current condition of endangered species in our world. The intention of Delis-Abrams’ recent book is also to “empower and inspire young people to take action.”
Author of two award-winning books, Delis-Abrams has collaborated with long-time friend Howard to produce a hands-on book that is not only replete with eye-catching pencil drawings of animals for children to color, but also includes vital information that goes beyond traditional educational formats. Each of the twenty-six endangered species in this collection is presented in first person narrative (instead of third person) that is set within two succinct paragraphs. Their personal stories are further enhanced by their feelings, both positive and negative, about their environment. While the first paragraph captures their distinctive qualities, the second paragraph is most startling since children sadly learn how they have been and continue to be abused by humankind. Delis-Abrams’ use of positive “I” statements, such as “I feel bold” and negative ones, such as “I feel baffled,” makes it possible for children to understand that animals have feelings, too, even if they cannot communicate on the same level as humans. This association with feelings enables children to develop compassion for other species that not only inhabit, but also play vital roles in their world. Excellent examples of these essential roles include their part in the food chain and within the ecosystem to maintain balance in the environment and pollination for plant growth. Complete with a glossary of terms used in the narratives, a “What You Can Do” call-to-action page, additional resources for further research, and an animal card game, this is an excellent activity book that should be utilized both at home and at school.
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