Counting Lions: Portraits from the Wild

illus. by Stephen Walton. 40p. Candlewick. Oct. 2015. Tr $22. ISBN 9780763682071.
K-Gr 2—This oversize counting book features 10 endangered animals drawn beautifully in charcoal. The images of lions, tigers, elephants, penguins, and more are so detailed that they appear on first look to be black-and-white photos. Each spread presents an animal, such as a single male lion, two gorillas, three giraffes, etc. Soft, moody text printed in orange accompanies the images. "One lion sits and watches his rough-and-tumble pride. He surveys the golden savanna, and a flicker catches his eye—something moving in the grass." "Four tigers rest in dappled shade. The mother raises her magnificent head. She is a warrior of the forest, heavily muscled, a flash of fire and night that brings oblivion to her prey." The end pages expand upon the status of the animals, from the endangered to those less threatened. Their general habitat is noted along with information regarding the number of the species now left.
VERDICT A stunning portrait of beautiful creatures in a book with a strong environmental message.

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