Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wildlife Heroes–book review!

Wildlife Heroes: 40 Leading Conservationists and the Animals They Are Committed to SavingAnyone who knows this greenmomster, knows that I’m a fan of the Today Show.  Last year on Presidents’ Day, my family and I stood outside of the Today Show studios for several hours in 20 degree weather as part of the Today Show crowd.  WeIMG_0219 eagerly held up our “Go Caps!” signs and shivered as we hoped to be on TV!  We got to meet Jenna Wolfe and Janice Huff (who were both very friendly, despite the fact that they were wearing skirts and heels in the aforementioned 20 degree weather), but alas, we did not meet Julie Scardina.  Who’s Julie Scardina, you ask?  She’s the Animal Ambassador for Sea World and my favorite guest on the Today Show.  I love watching as Julie nimbly handles both the wildlife she’s introducing to the audience and the hosts of the Today Show who often show a bit of animal angst.  I LOVE the animals!  I love hearing all the interesting facts about the animals, where they live, and why we should care.

My Today Show bliss has lately continued into the evening, as I’ve been reading the new book, Wildlife Heroes, by Julie Scardina and Jeff Flocken (DC Office Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare).  This book tells the stories of 40 conservationists and the various animals they work to protect.  Each of the profiles includes information on a species and its habitat, stories about how these conservationists protect the animals, and beautiful photos.  We learn about the educational background of these conservationists (a very helpful piece of information, if you’re trying to inspire children to go into the sciences), as well as the current status (endangered, threatened, etc) of the animals.  I particularly liked the two sidebars in each chapter, “What you should know about [the species]” and even more important, “Why it is important to save [the species]”. 

The book is divided into sections on land animals, aquatic animals, animals that fly or live in the forest canopy, and critical wildlife issues.  The authors state in the introduction that their focus is on larger vertebrates, which I thought might make me less interested in the stories, since I love those invertebrates!  But each story was so fascinating, I just kept reading and reading.  I especially enjoyed the chapter on our recent blog endangered species of the week, the maned wolf, and the chapter on Nguyen Van Thai’s efforts to protect the Asian pangolins.  The book also includes a section on how readers can help with conservation – it’s as if they’ve been reading my blog!  Another great feature of the book is its organization.  The stories are each 4-5 pages long – just the right length for the time-pressed reader.  So while all the other greenmomsters in the waiting room of the orthodontist’s office were playing Angry Birds on their iPhones, I had just enough time to polish off a story or two before my kids emerged from the orthodontist’s chair.

Definitely worth a read – Wildlife Heroes by Julie Scardina and Jeff Flocken!


  1. I am at the clinic of my cosmetic dentistry in melbourne myself as I read your blog and it was quite refreshing for somebody to be talking about her experience before a dental procedure of a story that is also very close to my heart. I also used to be part of the crowd outside the abc studios in downtown Chicago, for literally everyday. I miss the USA. Sigh.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post -- but I'm guessing you don't miss the winter weather in the U.S.!