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Two Wonderful Journeys for Extraordinary Animals

These two books come from different places but they both help kids, each in their own way, to understand how fragile creatures and environments can be.

‘The Whale Who Swam Through Time. A Two-Hundred-Year Journey in the Arctic’. Written by Alex Boersma and Nick Pyenson; illustrated by Alex Boersma

This is a nonfiction illustrated book that can help us wrap our minds around the incredible fact that bowhead whales get to live for 200 years. Starting from 1800 towards our present, we follow the birth and growth of one whale until she becomes a grandmother to other “tiny” bowheads.

The illustrations themselves tackle climate change, our permanent and noisy invasion of Arctic waters, and the fact that whales could possibly survive everything, -including us-, for the next 200 years.

Bowheads, belugas, and narwhals are the only three species that pass their entire life inside the arctic circle. They circle the Northwest passage that unites the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans through the Arctic Sea. Their environment has changed dramatically since the 1800 but, perhaps, they will be able to adapt to it, given enough time.

I’m just glad that we do not hunt down whales as much as we used to on Ahab times. However, they are still being hunted down, especially by the Japanese. Hopefully, we shall regard this with horror in 200 years’ time.

“The Whale Who Swam Through Time” is on sale since May 24, 2022.

Genre: Non fiction

Macmillan Press

Pages 48

BISAC Categories: Science & Nature – Environment Animals – Climate Change

 

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Up next comes a fun and quirky story with the cutest and tiniest axolotl a Swedish illustrator could make.

My Life at the Bottom: The Story of a Lonesome Axolotl by Linda Bondestam (Author and illustrator) A.A. Prime (Translator)

This is the first time I read anything by Linda Bondestam. She is a Swedish illustrator that was awarded the Snöbollen for Swedish Picture Book of the Year in 2016 and the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize in 2017 for Djur som ingen sett utom vi (Animals that no one has seen except us).

This particular book starts at the bottom of a lake in Mexico City, where the axolotl narrator will be born.

So graceful, and yet so lonesome–out of 987 eggs, mine was the only one that hatched.

Who knows, maybe I was the last axolotl in these waters?

He will go to school with his tiger salamander friends, lose them when they develop lungs and eventually find out that the world is contaminated and just plain wrong, before being flung about in a very dirty storm inside a tin can of soup.

Midways between hopeful, dramatic, and silly; this story mixes up elements that are hard for us to visualize: hot waves, murky waters, lots of garbage, and contamination. The fact that the entire book can be summed up as a Wikipedia entry makes it more interesting to me because an entry will be soon forgotten, but the ordeals of this cute living thing will be remembered.

Also, did you know that Axolotls were sold as food in Mexican markets and were a staple in the Aztec diet?

I hope we are as horrified by this as of whale hunting.

“My Life at the Bottom” is on sale since May 24, 2022.

Publisher: Yonder
Pages: 46
EAN/UPC: 9781632061386
BISAC Categories: Science & Nature – Environment Animals – Reptiles & Amphibians Humorous Stories

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This post was last modified on May 24, 2022 10:59 am

Mariana Ruiz

A Bolivian that writes children's books in Spanish, when she is not busy writing fiction or wondering about the Universe, she is playing games with her two sons and fantastic partner.

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