#1132 – Animal Ark by Joel Sartore & Kwame Alexander

**International Children’s Book Day**


Today is Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday (April 2nd). Anderson’s birthday is the day we “celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.” Each year, a member of IBBY (The International Board on Books for Young People), a non-profit organization representing a world-wide international network of people committed to bringing books and children together.

This year’s sponsor is IBBY Russia. The theme is Let Us Grow with the Book!


Animal Ark: Celebrating our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures
Series: PhotoArk
Written by Kwame Alexander
Photographs by Joel Sartore
National Geographic Kids 2/14/2017
48 pages Ages 4—8

School Library Journal Selection

“WE ARE FAMILY. Miraculous each.

“A howling wolf, a stalking tiger, a playful panda, a dancing bird—they are all part of our wonderful world. And each is equally important, no matter how large or small, on sea or shore, sharp or soft, protected or endangered.

“Turn each page of this photographic ark and celebrate the beauty, diversity, and fragility of the animal world, with incredible photographs from Nation Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, who has made it his life’s work to show the world as many of Earth’s creatures as he can. And giving a voice to each is Newbery Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander, with a mix of playful and powerful poetry, calling on each of us to save and defend our animal family.

“So, meet the majestic mandrill, the venomous viper, the colorful chameleon, and more than 100 other extraordinary species. For we are forever connected as a family. And this family—of people, animals, and the planet—is stronger together.” [INSIDE JACKET]

[WC 508]
Animal Ark kicks off Poetry Month, and if you like animals you will be amazed at Joel Sartore’s photographs. His work has always been sensational, but Animal Ark registers in the range of Fantastic! As you turn the pages of this must-have picture book, you will understand. And there is no poet worthy of kicking off this poetic month than Newbery medalist, Kwame Alexander.
Joel Sartore started Photo Ark with the National Geographic Society in an attempt to photograph every animal in captivity (zoos and wildlife rescues). Most of these animals are classified as either endangered or threatened. Extinction is much too close for some. Animal Ark is the version for kids taken from the large Photo Ark book released March 7, 2017.

According to the Photo Ark website, “Photographer Joel Sartore has visited 40 countries in his quest to create this photo archive of global biodiversity. To date, he has completed intimate portraits of more than 6,000 species.” Sartore believes we humans need to respect these animals—all animals—with equal respect regardless of size or apparent worth.
Newbery medalist Kwame Alexander adds his poetic words in haiku, full or partial, beginning with this huge call to action.

“chorus of creatures
singing our names
see what we can save—together”

Sartore’s photographs are amazing. Photographed against a solid background of white or black, each spread pops with one or more animals in wonderful high-contrast detail. Alexander’s words tell us more, such as with the Ploughshare tortoises,
The center spread pulls out to form a four-page spread. Here, Alexander calls once again for action. Using different colors of text, some words stand out. These may be the most important words we read in Animal Ark. Human action has caused the depletion of earth’s resources. Now we need to be the leaders in correcting the problems we have caused, for the sake of the animals, the earth in general, and us.

“We are family. Forever connected. There are too few remaining

“in the rain forest
in the big blue sea
in the whole wide world.

“. . . because of you and me.”

Animal Ark is perfect for the classroom, at school or at home. Children will love seeing these animals in close-up and will marvel in the detail. Animal Ark is also a wonderful adjunct text for a biology, zoology, or any animal-based lesson. Along with Photo Ark, Animal Ark needs to be available in every library and classroom. Sartore’s photographs are too amazing to miss, it is an amazing book whit lots of information that can practiced with ClassDojo, kids will love it.
Animal Ark released on Valentine’s Day, a date very fitting since it will take big hearts willing to care and love to keep these animals and more from extinction. But, without our commitment to righting the wrongs, a Valentine heart will not be enough.

Back matter includes a note from both Joel Sartore and Kwame Alexander. Also explained are haiku’s, used extensively throughout Animal Ark. This final page opens into a new spread containing each animal in Animal Ark.

ANIMAL ARK: CREATING OUR WILD WORLD IN POETRY AND PICTURES (PHOTO ARK). Text copyright © 2017 by Kwame Alexander. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Joel Sartore. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, National Geographic Kids, Washington, DC.

AmazonIndie Books—Apple Books—National Geographic Kids

Add ANIMAL ARK to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.
The Photo Ark Project on Facebook is HERE.
Visit the Photo Ark – Animal Ark Project HERE.



Photographs from ANIMAL ARK: CREATING OUR WILD WORLD IN POETRY AND PICTURES (PHOTO ARK) by Kwame Alexander copyright © 2017 by Joel Sartore. Used with permission from National Geographic Kids/National Geographic Society.

Copyright © 2017 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Animal Ark: Creating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures
Series: PhotoArk
Written by Kwame Alexander
Photographs by Joel Sartore
National Geographic Kids 2/14/2017


2 thoughts on “#1132 – Animal Ark by Joel Sartore & Kwame Alexander

  1. Such a gorgeous cover with beautiful illustrations — each one so expressive! I love National Geographic books. And, I like the simplicity of text for a younger child. It almost looks like a board book. My great grandson would adore this book! Nice introduction to poetry.


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