Sunday, September 6, 2015

Summer Reading 2015 The Great Monkey Rescue: Saving the Golden Lion Tamarin

Markle's books always have such captivating photographs to lure the reader in, and who could resist the sweet faces on the golden lion tamarins that are the subject of this title? As she explains in her author's note, she heard about a reforestation project designed to help the tamarins survive in their native habitat and the more she learned, the farther back in time she went to trace the path of all the projects that had led to this happy ending. (There is a great timeline at the end of the book that shows each project.)

Instead of diving straight into the conservation efforts, Markle makes the story personal by focusing on a particular young female who is traveling through the forest trying to find a mate. The readers becomes emotionally attached to this young tamarin as she tries time and again to find a home, only to be driven off by existing family groups. And then she hears the call of a young male, only to find the path to him blocked by open cattle pasture that she cannot cross. Is she doomed?

Having hooked us, now the author goes back to the beginnings of the efforts to save the endangered species and walks us through the various projects carried out by zoos around the world, the biological reserves in Brazil, and concerned citizens and conservationists. After showing all the steps that led to the current situation, Markle goes back to that lone female and shows how these efforts have created a way for her to reach that potential mate and start a new family group.

As in all her books, Sandra Markle provides outstanding photographs, with details of the animals, their habitat, and the humans working to save them. There are also the timeline and author's note I mentioned, a glossary, "Did You Know" section, an index, and suggestions of where to look for more information. I also appreciated how the author related the success with the golden lion tamarins to ongoing efforts on behalf of the Bornean orangutan, the pygmy elephant, and the Malayan sun bear. Readers may be inspired to pursue careers in zoology or conservation to help with these and other efforts.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. You can learn more about Sandra Markle on the author page on the publisher's website, or by visiting her blog

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