Reviews for Pangolina

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A pangolin advocates for wildlife conservation through her own tale of survival and hope. Pangolina lives with her mother in a burrow. Textured illustrations detail the pangolins’ scales-plus-hair appearance, engaging readers with expressive eyes whose sparkle also resonates with Ai, a girl who later saves Pangolina following her capture by an animal trafficker. A quick plot exposes facts of life for endangered species in the wild using clear, logical, and sympathetic language accessible to the youngest readers. The atmospheric artwork defines a lush nocturnal habitat and its diverse occupants, including Pangolina’s friends Bat, wild pigs, and “wise Civet.” It’s Civet who dissects the visceral realities of animal trafficking while delving into emotional complexities that reveal the interconnectedness between animals and humans. Complementary verbal and visual narratives are compelling in their sophisticated simplicity, which offers layers of meaning, teaching moments, and opportunities for reflection. Case in point is Ai’s name, which can be: the (Mandarin) Chinese word for love; a homonym for eye—the shining feature on most spreads suggesting windows to these animals’ souls; a homonym for the English first-person pronoun demonstrating everyone’s potential to make a difference. Comprehensive aftermatter details pangolin facts, practical action items, and resources for all ages. Human characters have tan or brown skin and dark hair with various textures; one child uses a wheelchair. Thoughtfully taps our natural capacity for empathy and kindness in caring for all creatures and our planet. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Who can resist a book about an endangered animal by renowned conservationist Jane Goodall? Pangolina tells the story of a Chinese pangolin, from the pangolin's point of view, starting when she is very young and continuing until she is an adult animal with her own baby. This is not simply a life cycle book, though. The story begins sweetly, with Pangolina learning from her mother and making friends with other wild creatures, like a civet and a bat. Soon, though, Pangolina undergoes the terrifying experience of being captured by humans and taken to a market, where her life is in danger. The first-person point of view makes the description of these events particularly frightening. Fortunately, Pangolina is rescued by a child who knows about endangered species, with help from a friendly police officer. Pangolina finds safety at a wildlife sanctuary, where she has a baby pangolin of her own. Ma's soft but vivid illustrations highlight the animals, making skillful use of textures and color, but they also evoke the Chinese setting by drawing on traditional styles of artwork. The back matter provides ample factual information about pangolins, including a diagram of their physical characteristics, additional resources, and notes on conservation efforts.


Publishers Weekly
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Primatologist Goodall (The Eagle & the Wren) protests the endangered species trade with the story of Pangolina, a wide-eyed, thoughtful pangolin, who describes her mother’s care (“Every night she went out to get food, always returning so I could drink her rich, warm, delicious milk”), wild animal friends, and the tan-skinned human girl she encounters in the forest (“She seemed excited and her eyes were kind”). Then tragedy hits: Pangolina and her friends are captured and brought to a market by a man who “thinks we are just things that have no feelings.” The next day “there were screams of pain, and there was blood, and the smell of fear was all around me,” but Pangolina is saved by the girl she met earlier, whose empathy gives her the courage to do what’s right for the pangolin and results in telling “more and more children about the animals of China.” Illustrator Ma (Leaf, for adults) creates simple, engaging creatures with huge eyes that are full of feeling. Passages that describe Pangolina’s capture are both sudden and graphic in a telling from the animal’s point of view that leaves no doubt about the harm caused. Though extensive back matter at times elides cultural context, it includes information about this endangered species and steps to fight the trade. Ages 4–8. (June)


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Who can resist a book about an endangered animal by renowned conservationist Jane Goodall? Pangolina tells the story of a Chinese pangolin, from the pangolin's point of view, starting when she is very young and continuing until she is an adult animal with her own baby. This is not simply a life cycle book, though. The story begins sweetly, with Pangolina learning from her mother and making friends with other wild creatures, like a civet and a bat. Soon, though, Pangolina undergoes the terrifying experience of being captured by humans and taken to a market, where her life is in danger. The first-person point of view makes the description of these events particularly frightening. Fortunately, Pangolina is rescued by a child who knows about endangered species, with help from a friendly police officer. Pangolina finds safety at a wildlife sanctuary, where she has a baby pangolin of her own. Ma's soft but vivid illustrations highlight the animals, making skillful use of textures and color, but they also evoke the Chinese setting by drawing on traditional styles of artwork. The back matter provides ample factual information about pangolins, including a diagram of their physical characteristics, additional resources, and notes on conservation efforts.

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