Thursday, April 13, 2017

Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures by Newbery Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess and Deanna Nikaido & photos by National Geographic Fellow, photographer Joel Sartore [Review & Giveaway]

Just in time for National Poetry Month and Earth Day in April, National Geographic Kids Books is thrilled to debut Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures (February 2017, ages 4-8, $15.99) by Newbery Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess and Deanna Nikaido, featuring photos by National Geographic Fellow and photographer Joel Sartore.

My thoughts: These photographs are absolutely fantastic. The photographer's talent (and patience) involved in capturing the images is superb. True to National Geographic quality, the book presents a child's view of animals that National Geographic is capturing in their photographic animal ark where they are storing images of as many critters as possible. Some may in the future become extinct and these images will have  historic and naturalistic value. Children and adults alike will enjoy looking and learning from this delightful picture book. The sparse text invites the reader to "look into their eyes" and "sing our names."  And lyric lines such as.....

"wings like a cape, ready for flight into the sweet, dark night."      
"how many feathers.... does it take to make a wing to fly, share sky"
About the book: A howling wolf, a stalking tiger, a playful panda, a dancing bird - pairing the stunning photography of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore with the delicate poetry of Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander, this lush picture book celebrates the beauty, diversity, and fragility of the animal world.

Featuring more than 40 unique animal portraits, the pages invite kids to explore each creature's markings, textures, and attributes in stunning detail, while calling on all of us to help protect each and every one. Three picture-packed gatefolds inside showcase even more familiar and exotic species. These images are part of Sartore's lifelong project to photograph every animal in the world, with special attention given to disappearing and endangered species.

Animal Ark pairs Alexander’s mix of playful and powerful poetry with more than 100 of Sartore’s most compelling images of the world’s species to create a photographic ark for children that highlights the importance of conservation and celebrates the beauty, diversity and fragility of the animal world.  Animal Ark is inspired by the National Geographic Photo Ark, a multiyear effort with Sartore and the National Geographic Society to document every species in captivity—inspiring people not just to care, but also to help protect these animals for future generations.

This picture book is a fantastic and unique selection for National Poetry Month and contains a message that is pitch perfect for Earth Day (April 22nd).

And those adorable photographs don't "just happen." It takes hard work and a fair amount "those won't work" snaps.

Open to USA Addresses Only
Begins April 13
Ends April 30 @ 12:01 a.m EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own alone and are freely given. Prize is provided by and shipped to winner by MM Publicity on behalf of National Geographic.


  1. The first video showed me a lot of beautiful photography from the book, and the second video showed how the photographs were done, including some sometimes-awkward animal wrangling!

  2. This is a terrific book. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I learned that Eagles are camera shy! I remember hearing Joel Sartore talk about the trials and tribulations of being a Nat Geo photographer on NPR several years ago.

  4. I learned animal photography is not easy!


  5. I learned we are secret siblings and it is not easy to take pictures of live animals.

  6. I learned that some animals glow and it's hard to get animals to cooperate when taking their pictures.

  7. I'm currently collecting this type of book for science and poetry studies next year! Perfect timing! Thanks for sharing this post at Booknificent Thursday on this week!

  8. It takes a lot of work to get good pictures of animals.

  9. I love photography. And this video is exactly correct I learned how hard it is to take pictures of animals. I have taken a few myself and sometimes you get in some pretty funny situations Lol

  10. I learned that my squirmy dog really isn't all that bad compared to some! :-)
    I liked the snake investigating the camera and the scurrying armadillo. I didn't know they took such tiny steps.

  11. I was amazed how many people and how much equipment working in concert are needed to make these extraordinary photos. And hearing Kwame Alexander read his poetry, well that just took my breath away! His message that it is the job of all of us to protect God's beautiful creation, Earth, and its creatures, was so very moving.


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