A compelling account of the solution of a scientific mystery.

THE SEARCH FOR OLINGUITO

DISCOVERING A NEW SPECIES

A species of mammal newly identified through museum research is found in the wild in Ecuador.

Comparing olingo pelts and skulls at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Kristofer Helgen found a set that didn't match. Continuing his museum investigations around the world, he found similar specimens in four other collections. DNA testing showed that it was, indeed, a different species, which he named olinguito, "little olingo." One such animal had lived and died in captivity in the 1970s, but did they still exist in the wild? In this latest title, science educator Markle provides a stellar description of a long-term scientific investigation involving research in museums, in laboratories, and in the field. Her clear, well-organized text introduces the scientific question, describes the research, and introduces the newest member of the raccoon family. A two-page spread describes other family members, and there are numerous well-captioned photographs of this appealing new addition as well as American (mostly white) and Ecuadorian scientists at work. She makes clear that these animals were known to local people all along; it was scientists who were surprised. Attractive design and thoughtful backmatter complete the package, a nice complement to Lulu Delacre’s description of the olinguito’s native cloud forest, ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z!/Olinguito, from A to Z!

A compelling account of the solution of a scientific mystery. (source notes, glossary, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-1015-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new...

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THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

How Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.

Living in a "domain" of glass, metal and cement at the Big Top Mall, Ivan sometimes forgets whether to act like a gorilla or a human—except Ivan does not think much of humans. He describes their behavior as frantic, whereas he is a peaceful artist. Fittingly, Ivan narrates his tale in short, image-rich sentences and acute, sometimes humorous, observations that are all the more heartbreaking for their simple delivery. His sorrow is palpable, but he stoically endures the cruelty of humans until Ruby the baby elephant is abused. In a pivotal scene, Ivan finally admits his domain is a cage, and rather than let Ruby live and die in grim circumstances, he promises to save her. In order to express his plea in a painting, Ivan must bravely face buried memories of the lush jungle, his family and their brutal murder, which is recounted in a brief, powerful chapter sure to arouse readers’ passions. In a compelling ending, the more challenging question Applegate poses is whether or not Ivan will remember what it was like to be a gorilla. Spot art captures poignant moments throughout.

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new generation of advocates. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-199225-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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A sympathetic, compelling introduction to wolves from the perspective of one wolf and his memorable journey.

A WOLF CALLED WANDER

Separated from his pack, Swift, a young wolf, embarks on a perilous search for a new home.

Swift’s mother impresses on him early that his “pack belongs to the mountains and the mountains belong to the pack.” His father teaches him to hunt elk, avoid skunks and porcupines, revere the life that gives them life, and “carry on” when their pack is devastated in an attack by enemy wolves. Alone and grieving, Swift reluctantly leaves his mountain home. Crossing into unfamiliar territory, he’s injured and nearly dies, but the need to run, hunt, and live drives him on. Following a routine of “walk-trot-eat-rest,” Swift traverses prairies, canyons, and deserts, encountering men with rifles, hunger, thirst, highways, wild horses, a cougar, and a forest fire. Never imagining the “world could be so big or that I could be so alone in it,” Swift renames himself Wander as he reaches new mountains and finds a new home. Rife with details of the myriad scents, sounds, tastes, touches, and sights in Swift/Wander’s primal existence, the immediacy of his intimate, first-person, present-tense narration proves deeply moving, especially his longing for companionship. Realistic black-and-white illustrations trace key events in this unique survival story, and extensive backmatter fills in further factual information about wolves and their habitat.

A sympathetic, compelling introduction to wolves from the perspective of one wolf and his memorable journey. (additional resources, map) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-289593-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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