The Tapir Scientist: Saving South America’s Largest Mammal
Illustrator: Nic Bishop
Some of nature’s shyest animals, tapirs are hard to find, thus hard to study. Lowland tapirs are rapidly disappearing from their home in Brazil—but scientist Pati Medici hopes to change that. Selected bibliography. Internet resources. Full-color map, photographs, and illustrations.
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Awards & Honors
NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12: 2014; Booklist 2013 Top 10 Books for Youth, Science & Health; Booklist Editor’s Choice: Books for Youth, 2013, Nonfiction; Booklist Top 10 Books for Youth 2014, Sustainability; 2014 Green Earth Book Award, Honor Winner
Praise & Reviews
Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*
School Library Journal
In this addition to the series, readers join Pati Medici and her team in their quest to study tapirs in the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal Wetlands of Brazil. Although its appearance may lead some to suppose that the tapir falls somewhere near elephants or hippopotami in the family tree, this flexible-snout [STARRED REVIEW]
In this addition to the series, readers join Pati Medici and her team in their quest to study tapirs in the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal Wetlands of Brazil. Although its appearance may lead some to suppose that the tapir falls somewhere near elephants or hippopotami in the family tree, this flexible-snouted, hoof-toed tropical creature is most closely related to rhinoceroses and horses. Medici has dubbed the tapir “the gardener of the forest” for its critical role in maintaining foliage by ingesting fruits and excreting the seeds elsewhere, but little else is known about this vanishing species. By observing and trapping the animals to outfit them with radio collars or microchips and collect samples including blood and ticks from infestations, Medici’s team hopes to better understand their lifestyles to enhance conservation efforts. Although in-text pronunciation guides are included for some Portuguese names and select scientific terminology is explained, no glossary is provided, and many of the exotic birds discussed are not shown. Following each chapter are several pages of related information with text and photographs placed on top of a marbled background with shadows that can make the text difficult to read in some places. A list of several websites and YouTube videos is included, and the index differentiates between text and photographic references. Bishop’s captivating photographs, paired with Montgomery’s narrative, not only call attention to a lesser-known endangered species, but also expose readers to the working conditions, obstacles, and emotions experienced by passionate scientists in the field.—Meaghan Darling, Plainsboro Public Library, NJ
11" x 9"
Level 6.4; Points: 3;
Scholastic Reading CountsN/A