Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White (Candlewick, 2011), tells the story of a number of extinct, nearly extinct, or once nearly extinct animals in a conversational yet imperative tone. Mr. Jenkins’s tone makes the book both approachable and a cry for action, and Ms. White’s detailed illustrations are jaw-dropping realistic, thus giving the animals life as the reader ponders their tenuous grasp on life in the wild (and the fact that some of the animals will never again be seen in the wild).
The book, which is larger than a typical picture book, provides ample white space as needed, thus emphasizing the fleeting nature of some of the small animals in danger. Each illustration throughout the book is accompanied by details about the animal: its scientific name, its habitat, and other necessary information.
Although the author is blatantly providing a message, the reader doesn’t mind. He is right: it would be a shame to lose the tiger and the polar bear in nature! Can We Save the Tiger? provides the facts (via text and gorgeous illustration) for the reader to understand the issues, as well as a compelling argument that animal extinction is an issue to be concerned about.