Animal Ark, Photographs by Joel Sartore and Words by Kwame Alexander

Animal Ark

If you’re looking for a beautiful book for an animal lover between the ages of 4-8, Animal Ark (2017, National Geographic) is the perfect text!

A collaboration between renowned photographer Joel Sartore and well-known children’s author Kwame AlexanderAnimal Ark presents over a 100 animal species via absolutely amazing photographs and lyrics. The combination of the words and photographs make it possible for both non-readers and early readers to enjoy the book.

Here’s what I LOVE about Animal Ark: 

(1) As a budding photographer, I admire Sartore’s photographs. I especially love the photographs of the American flamingos, the blue waxbils, and the coquerel’s sifaka. Young kids will recognize some of the animals and be introduced to many others. The vibrant colors draw one into the book. Oversized photographs make it easy for younger children to see the intricacies of each creature, and several fold-out pages provide smaller photographs with names; extinction, endangered, or threatened status; and world region.

(2) It’s an environmentally-conscious book. This book aims to create awareness about extinct, endangered, or threatened species. Hopefully, this book will inspire awareness and efforts to save the species we still can.

(3) It should be no surprise to my readers that I love the book’s poetic element. Alexander’s words complement well Sartore’s photographs. Through some perfect haiku poems and some not-so-true-to-the-form haiku poems, Alexander helps readers appreciate the unique characteristics of the species presented. The colorful fonts and alternating bold and unbolded words only add to the book’s aesthetic.

Here are some other reviews of Animal Ark:

“The Newbery medalist matches bursts of poetic commentary to dozens of dramatic close-ups, mostly of creatures classified as endangered or threatened… Beautiful photos, with an impact heightened… by the accompanying words.” —Kirkus

Publisher’s Weekly


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I would love to hear what you think of Animal Ark in the comments below!


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