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by Alexandra Delis-Abrams, Ph.D.
Illustrations by Kim Howard
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!”
Masterfully crafted by Alexandra Delis-Abrams, Ph.D., a passionate advocate for both animal welfare and the emotional wellbeing of children, ‘Endangered Species Have Feelings Too’ is a unique coloring book that not only gives youngsters something fun to do, but makes them acutely aware of the growing epidemic surrounding the world’s endangered animals. Twenty-six endangered animals narrate their own stories, providing space for children to write down their thoughts and expand their “feelings vocabulary”. To date the volume has scooped up two awards: Creative Child Magazine Book of the Year Award and Best Green Dr. Toy’s 2015.
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.
An educational coloring book by Alexandra Delis-Abrams, Ph.D. with illustrations by Kim Howard. ‘Endangered Species Have Feelings Too’ is an educational book that children of all ages will enjoy coloring while becoming aware of the plight of twenty-six endangered species. The text, written in first person, offers characteristics of the animal/insect as well as their struggles to survive because of human impact on nature and species. As an added bonus, the child is expanding his/her feelings vocabulary which boosts their emotional intelligence.“This is so much more than just a coloring book for children,” explains the author, Founder and President of ABC Feelings, a company dedicated to the emotional well-being of children. “Every story is told through the eyes of animals, which allows readers to relate to the experiences, weave them deep into their awareness and ultimately set their sights on a direct and tangible course of action. I know that the generation underneath us can affect bold change but, if it’s to come to fruition, we need to get their attention now.” Continuing, “Adults are also benefiting from the book as it provides quite a wake-up call for them to move from apathy to action and take responsibility for the legacy they are leaving future generations. Believe it or not, adult coloring books are experiencing a huge upward trend at the moment. There’s no better time for the entire family to come together!”Reviews for the book have been overwhelmingly positive. Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition comments, “Alexandra Delis-Abrams’ new book is a lovely celebration of endangered species. While teaching children emotional literacy, Dr. Delis-Abrams also encourages them to be empathetic to all living creatures and to see themselves as part of a bigger world. What a wonderful way to empower children. I’d like to see it in the hands of every child.”National Geographic explorer, Helen Thayer, adds, “Children and adults will learn compassion for endangered species and gain the understanding that animals are a vital part of a balanced environment. This important book should be included in every school library and used by teachers as a basic teaching tool for subjects that include endangered species, the environment, and climate change.”