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Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals by…
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Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals

by Damien Laverdunt

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This book divides the world into the Americas, Eurasia, Africa and Oceania and discusses animals that have gone extinct in each locale. Some such as the Woolly Mammoth and the Irish Elk became extinct due to climate change and others such as the Dodo Bird and the Passenger Pigeon were hunted to extinction by humans.

Each animal gets a comic strip that shares either a myth about them or something concerning their territory or the people that have studied/found them. Then an illustration in the style of the old fashioned images that naturalists made a hundred years ago with a couple of interesting facts. Many of the animals selected are very strange by today's standards and there are also many animals that are larger cousins of animals that are still somewhat common. There is also a small illustration in the upper right hand corner with a human next to it to illustrate the scale of the animal which I found very helpful. At the end there is frieze with a time line of the vanishing animals and a glossary.

I found this book really interesting and I thought that the comic strips were a great way to present all different kinds of information. I also found this book a little sad. More than half of the animals were made extinct due to human involvement. That being said I didn't feel like the authors were trying to beat you over the head with a point. This book is really about the animals which I found refreshing. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
This book divides the world into the Americas, Eurasia, Africa and Oceania and discusses animals that have gone extinct in each locale. Some such as the Woolly Mammoth and the Irish Elk became extinct due to climate change and others such as the Dodo Bird and the Passenger Pigeon were hunted to extinction by humans.

Each animal gets a comic strip that shares either a myth about them or something concerning their territory or the people that have studied/found them. Then an illustration in the style of the old fashioned images that naturalists made a hundred years ago with a couple of interesting facts. Many of the animals selected are very strange by today's standards and there are also many animals that are larger cousins of animals that are still somewhat common. There is also a small illustration in the upper right hand corner with a human next to it to illustrate the scale of the animal which I found very helpful. At the end there is frieze with a time line of the vanishing animals and a glossary.

I found this book really interesting and I thought that the comic strips were a great way to present all different kinds of information. I also found this book a little sad. More than half of the animals were made extinct due to human involvement. That being said I didn't feel like the authors were trying to beat you over the head with a point. This book is really about the animals which I found refreshing. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
A wonderful introduction to extinct species and subspecies from five continents. Informational text is paired with folklore or intriguing and entertaining anecdotes. A handsomely designed and illustrated book that will spark readers'imaginations and interests to learn more about these creatures.
( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
Twenty-seven extinct (or nearly so) animals are presented in this oversized book. They range from the prehistoric to the modern and across the map from the Americas to Oceania. Each full page spread presents a six-panel cartoon strip telling a legend, story, or conversation between the animals on the right and a large illustration of the animal and further information on the left.

Some of the animals include the Malagasy dwarf hippopotamus, which some scientists think is the basis for the legendary monster kilopilopitsofy, and which is accompanied by a fictional comic of an encounter between a Malagasy native and the hippo. Then there's the elephant bird, thought to be the inspiration for Sinbad's Roc. The woolly mammoth spread includes a brief exchange between the scientists who disinterred an almost perfect specimen in 1997 and the Chinese river dolphin also includes a science expedition, this one in 2007 when scientists concluded the dolphin was extinct.

Additional information on each of the four land areas - the Americas, Africa, Eurasia and Oceania - is included at the beginning of each section. An in-depth glossary and further illustrations and timeline of the extinct animals is also included. I did think the introduction was a bit grandiose, especially when it says "Few books dare to touch on humanity's role in wildlife extinction." I can't think of a single wildlife title I've purchased for the library in the past few years that doesn't touch on this, but this is a French import, so maybe their children's books are different.

The art is very interesting and it took me a while to realize that it strongly reminded me of the botanical drawings of the 18th and 19th century, but with color. There are touches of humor in the cartoons, although they do all have a sameness about them. I did like the silhouettes of the extinct creature vs. a human, so you can see the relative sizes.

Verdict: This won't be for everyone, but the very different illustrations and the variety of information will interest some kids, especially those who have outgrown dinosaurs but are still interested in prehistoric creatures. I would have liked a little more background information and knowing how they decided how to picture some of the prehistoric creatures and more about the final sighting and how they were determined to be extinct, but it's a good introduction to extinction, biodiversity, and folktales.

ISBN: 9781877579066; Published 2012 by Gecko Press; Borrowed from another library in the consortium
  JeanLittleLibrary | Dec 22, 2012 |
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Describes twenty-seven extinct animals and explains how and why they became extinct.

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