November 10, 2010
Saving the World's Strangest Parrot
Text by Sy Montgomery; photographs by Nic Bishop
Houghton Mifflin, 2010
The creative team of Sy Montgomery (writer) and Nic Bishop (photographer) is highly regarded in the children's book world for previous collaborations in the Scientists in the Field series, like Quest for the Tree Kangaroo (2006) and The Tarantula Scientist (2004). This time around, the two turn the lens on the kakapo, a flightless parrot in New Zealand. Spending part of nesting season at the kakapo's remote island home, they document the heroic efforts of conservationists, scientists, and volunteers to ensure that the species survives.
At the risk of sounding very un-scientific, I have to say that the fat green parrots are adorable; I was happy to read at Kakapo Recovery, a website mentioned in the book, that there are now 122 in the world. That number is up from the 87 when Montgomery and Bishop left the New Zealand island.
Kakapo Rescue has been nominated for a Cybil award, along with two other 2010 Scientists in the Field titles, The Hive Detectives and Project Seahorse (reviewed here). [Correction 11/21: There are four Scientists in the Field books nominated this year; the other one is The Bat Scientists.] The reading level for all is about fifth grade and older.
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