Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Summary: Pandas almost disappeared from China after poaching and habitat destruction nearly wiped them out. Yet over the last few decades, the number of pandas has slowly risen, thanks to intensive conservation efforts. The author examines both the issues of what caused their decline and how scientists have slowly helped reintroduce pandas into the wild. Early efforts didn’t always succeed, and these are documented as well. Interestingly, there are those who believe pandas should be allowed to die out as part of the natural order, and this point of view is also explored. The final chapter summarizes successes, not only in the panda conservation movement, but in helping other endangered species. Includes glossary, sources, index, and a list of ways to help endangered species. 64 pages; grade 4-7.
Pros: Sibert medalist Catherine Thimmesh (Team Moon) gives a complete, engaging picture of the state of the panda, an animal whose adorableness has led to it becoming the face of the World Wildlife Fund. And speaking of adorable, readers of all ages will enjoy the many photos illustrating the text.
Cons: I know they’re an important part of the conservation process, but it’s hard for me to take the guys in panda suits seriously.