Pangolina – Jane Goodall, pictures by Daishu Ma

 Pangolina – Jane Goodall, pictures by Daishu Ma, Minedition, (9781662650406), 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? Jane Goodall tells this story of a young pangolin as fiction but it mirrors the life of the real pangolin.  Pangolina has a happy life with her mother and her friends the civet, the bats, the wild pigs and other animals of the forest.  When she is old enough she must go out on her own to find her own mate and have her own family. Her scales have hardened, her claws allow her to dig into termite mounds for food.  And then she is captured by a man who shoves her into a cloth bag. Terrified, she is put in a tiny, bare, cold cage.  She is just about to be sold when a little girl saves her and takes her to a sanctuary.  Though the story has a happy ending, it is still sad to realise what is frequently their fate.

The illustrations are in dark hues for the nighttime scenes – when the pangolin is active.  Mostly two-page spreads, they convey so much with so little, soft, outlined in black, perhaps done in water colors.

Pangolins are the most trafficked animal in the world, killed to make medicine from their scales or to be eaten.  They are shy, nocturnal and have no enemies in the wild.  End pages inform about the life of a pangolin, its size, habits, defending behavior, digging, climbing and swimming.  Photographs are included along with a list of what people can to help the pangolin.  More information is included listing documentaries, zoos, websites.  Ideas for teachers to use illustrating the life of a pangolin along with information on Jane Goodall.

Anything you did not like about the book?  Nothing.

To whom would you recommend this book? I think this would make a nice readaloud for a unit on animals as many people have not even heard of pangolins or their plight.  Any child between the ages of six and ten might enjoy this book with the caveat of being prepared for the frequent plight that they face.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries and kindergartens

Where would you shelve it?  599.31 or Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes, everyone should know about these shy little animals who are the most trafficked in the world and well may go extinct.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Manager, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: 3/22/2021

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