If you’re looking for a special way to mark Earth Day 2023, I encourage readers of all ages to check out The Late, Great Endlings: Stories of the Last Survivors by Deborah Kerbel.
This unforgettable book teaches us that the definition of an endling is the last known surviving individual animal of a species. Sadly, due to centuries of human activities, there are now more than enough endlings to inspire an entire book. This beautiful yet heart-breaking book pays homage to several well-known endlings of the past century with rhyming poems that accompany watercolour illustrations, and factual descriptions of each animal.
The portraits of these animals, like the passenger pigeon, the Pinta Island tortoise and the Tasmanian tiger, are proof of a world irreversibly altered by human development, habitat loss and climate change. Reading this book is sure to make both the young and old reflect on how connected all life forms are on planet Earth, and realize that action must be taken now to save other species from going extinct.
In summary, this thoughtful juvenile non-fiction book is one that every young animal enthusiast should read and ends on a hopeful note, by giving readers a list of small daily actions they can take to make meaningful change in the world.