David A Steen and Chiara Fedele, published by Neon-Squid
Welcome to my stop on the FCBG News blog tour for Non-Fiction November #NNFN2022
“Rewilding projects are wildlife reintroductions that try to reverse the trend. They bring animals and plants back to areas where they used to live, but that they have disappeared from – usually because we overhunted them or changed their habitat too much”
This is a clearly written and informative non-fiction book, with realistic colour illustrations that help to bring the animals and habitats to life. It gives examples from across the globe, in a range of habitats of the many ways humans have tried to return wildlife to their natural habitats. Neon-Squid the publisher is a relative new comer to children’s non-fiction but their books are definitely worth checking out.
It raises some interesting questions about the interplay between humans and wildlife, both in creating problems and as positive forces for change. In some locations it recognises that local people are dependent on their local habitat to survive and the need to involve them in decisions about conservation projects.
One of the really special things about this non-fiction book for children is the breadth of mini re-wilding case studies included from all over the world. These include: animals, birds, fish, plants, reptiles and insects and a few plants. Each double page spread focuses on certain aspects that affect a creature or plant and some of the actions humans have taken, working together, to re-introduce them to the wild. These provide examples of hope, that despite the threats to our planet there are things we can do to help.
Some examples of the case studies of re-wilding:
- Flying a light airplane thousands of miles to try and teach Whooping Cranes brought up in captivity about their annual migration routes.
- Several examples of the impact of building dams on building wildlife are explored. Such as the: toads dependant on the spray and mist from a gorge in Tanzania (East Africa), and the Chinook salmon affected by a dam in the USA.
- The idea of keystone species is introduced with two main examples. Beavers in England, and their dam building skills that can help to control a river and protect from flooding. The wolves in Yellowstone park, USA and how the removal of a predator can affect the whole ecosystem.
As well as the case studies there are number of pages throughout the book which explore wider issues relating to habitat preservation and conservation. This provides some good pointers to discuss issues related to re-wilding. In the classroom there’s great potential to use this text alongside a fictional re-wilding story (there are a few suggestions at the end of this post).
There is one small area in which this book could perhaps be improved. I would like to see clearer signposting with different colour headings to more clearly visually distinguish the concept/issue pages from the case study pages, making them easier to find. To assist with this a copy of the contents page is attached with the concept/issue pages highlighted in red.
I highly recommend this detailed and informative text, with realistic and eye-catching illustrations for 10+ years, to be enjoyed at home and in the classroom. Do check out some of the other non-fiction titles by Neon-Squid the publishers.
Fictional stories about re-wilding
The Rewilders by Lindsay Littleton . Read my book review here.
The Last Bear by Hannah Wolf
Fourteen Wolves: A Re-wilding story by Catherine Barr. A an illustrated narrative non-fiction book about the returning of wolves to Yelloston Park in 1995.
When Things Went Wild by Tom Mitchell. For a humorous take on re-wilding