With Further Ado #178: Staring Down Extinction

It’s been another one of those years, hasn’t it? I thought that 2021 was going to be wonderful, easy, and a get-back-to-normal year.  Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. Sometimes it was hopeful, but sometimes (I’m looking at you, Omicron) it seems like end of our species.

And maybe that’s why I find the new book from Czech publisher Albatros, The Atlas of Endangered Animals, so fascinating.  It’s written by Radek Malý and lavishly illustrated by Pavel DvorskýJiří Grbavčič.  And when I write “lavishly”, I mean LAV-ISH-LY. These illustrations are beyond fantastic.   Of course, there’s no YouTube for most of these animals, so illustrations is all have. But Grbavčič’s illustrations never make you feel like you are settling.

Here’s the official description from the publisher:

In this book, award-winning poet Radek Malý tells the stories of forty-one extinct species and studies the causes of their sad demise. The large-format Atlas of Extinct Animals is supplemented with beautifully expressive full-page illustrations by gifted artist Jiří Grbavčič and detailed pictures by renowned scientific illustrator Pavel Dvorský. The gorgeous, detailed depictions and descriptions of species and their fates can only serve as a reminder and as a warning of how much life has already disappeared from the Earth. The atlas also shows that the disappearances continue. Page by page it nears the present day and ultimately introduces creatures that still existed a few years ago, like the Zanzibar leopard (until 1996) and the Chinese river dolphin (until 2007). In the end, we are left with a bitter question: Which creature will next be added to this atlas? This book was selected by White Ravens 2020 for the annual catalog of book recommendations in the field of international children’s and youth literature.

What a great way to stimulate one’s imagination.

And as a new grandparent (I can’t quite believe it either), I take the spoiling part of my new role seriously. My granddaughters already have many super-hero books and toys.  But maybe a horizon-expanding book like this deserves a place on their bookshelves someday?

This book is scheduled to be released the end of February.


Atlas of Endangered Species

Written by Radek Malý
Illustrated by Pavel DvorskýJiří Grbavčič
age 9-12

Book parameters:
Size 9 × 13 in | 88 pages | hardcover | 9788000061269 | $ 24.99

P.S. And believe it or not, there’s even a sequel.