Saturday, October 22, 2022

Fall Reading 2022 Border Crossings


There have been several books lately about the border and the impact of government policies on people living on both sides. Sneed Collard's new book points out how the manmade barriers going up along that line on a map are affecting the wildlife that calls the border home. He describes the journeys of ocelots and other animals seeking mates and new territory, the way that the fences and walls block access to "food or water they need" or to "spring and summer breeding grounds." Even winged animals that fly low to the ground can be turned back from where their instincts take them.

Illustrations capture the elaborate markings of the ocelot's pelt, the various habitats such as chaparral, desert, mountains, or canyons. A black gouge across some scenes makes the break in the ecosystems obvious. A particularly poignant image shows the bars of the metal barrier in red and the top rail in blue with stars on it, an American flag draped across the landscape. Javelinas, pronghorns, owls, and cactus fill the pages with vibrant life.

The author's note goes into more detail about the over seven hundred species that live in the border area and the negative impact of human activity on their survival. Information about groups working to protect the ecosystem in those areas such as the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife is provided. There is also a glossary and a list for further reading.

This would be a good book to pair with Cougar Crossing: How Hollywood's Celebrity Cougar Helped Build a Bridge for City Wildlife to support classroom discussion about human impact on the environment and its effects on survival of animals in various areas.

I read an advance copy provided for review purposes through NetGalley.

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