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Formats
Hardcover Details
  • 09/2020
  • 978-1-951943-28-8
  • 30 pages
  • $19.95
Jodie Cooper
Author, Illustrator
While I Still Am, ISBN 978-1-951943-28-8
While I Still Am is a children’s book about endangered animals. Delightfully illustrated in watercolor, with fascinating details about each of the 12 featured animals and why they are endangered, the book is designed to teach compassion. Reference sites are included to provide additional information about wildlife conservancy, protecting the environment, and what each of us can do to positively impact our world. The smallest of change from the smallest of individual can help preserve these species for many years to come.
Reviews
Cooper’s sweetly illustrated picture book debut is full of loving details about a wide variety of endangered species. From the gruff-looking African elephant to the alert koala, each creature is accompanied by a page of informational text, including charming features about the animals—the Beluga whale is called the “canary of the sea” because of its whistling ability—and dangers to their lives and habitats. This volume pulls no punches when it comes to chronicling threats to these animals—the text about Magellanic penguins tells young readers, "my habitat is threatened by climate change causing heavy rains that flood my nesting areas. I get caught and drown in fishery nets. Chronic oil pollution from ocean tankers remains my greatest threat."

Some of the vocabulary and concepts (the equator, marine parks, climate change) will be new to many in the target age range. The book introduces numerous facts per page, and since each animal is illustrated in only one portrait, there are no visuals to illuminate numbers such as “my legs alone are six feet long” or “I can weigh 1750-2800 pounds” to help young kids understand their significance. These attributes make this book one for a child to read and discuss with an adult.

But if a small reader becomes impatient with the facts, the text easily allows for a break before returning, without diminishing the overall message. The recurring refrain "please leave me be while I still am" is a powerful call to action that young animal lovers can understand. This element, combined with the lively watercolor images, changes what could be a frightening set of facts into a positive message of interspecies responsibility.

Takeaway: Adults who want to introduce younger kids to conservation and instill a love of animals will be delighted by this lovely picture book.

Great for fans of: David Wax’s I Wish For You, Miranda Paul’s One Plastic Bag.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: B+
Illustrations: B+
Editing: B+
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Hardcover Details
  • 09/2020
  • 978-1-951943-28-8
  • 30 pages
  • $19.95

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