Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 6 to 8
- Grade: 1 to 3
- Reading age: 6 to 8
★“This beautiful dedication to these special animals brings the reality and the irreversible finality of extinction to the forefront and calls on readers to act now, before so many other animals become endlings. Highly recommended for all collections.”—Booklist, starred review
The endlings: the last known survivors of a species.
Something that you may not know: in each and every case of a disappearing species, extinction had a face.
Over the past 500 years, thousands of species of plants and animals have become extinct. The Late, Great Endlings pays homage to some of the more well-known endlings of the past century with rhyming stanzas that accompany watercolor illustrations and factual descriptions of each animal, along with the circumstances that led to their species' extinction. Together, these portraits of animals, like the passenger pigeon, the Pinta Island tortoise and the Tasmanian tiger, are a poignant symbol of a world irreversibly altered by human development, habitat loss and climate change. Readers are invited to reflect on the interconnectedness of all life forms on our planet with an additional look at animals that are at risk of becoming extinct in our lifetime. Concluding on a hopeful note, the final page offers suggestions for what kids can do to change the course of this mass species extinction crisis.
About the authors
Deborah Kerbel is the author of several picture books, including Before You Were Born, When Molly Drew Dogs, and the award-winning Sun Dog, as well as novels for middle grade and young adult readers. Born in London, England, she moved to Canada at the age of two and went on to attend the University of Western Ontario. Her novels have been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association YA Book of the Year, and the Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award. Deborah lives in Thornhill, Ontario, with her husband, two book-loving children, and a schnoodle named Alfredo.
Aimée van Drimmelen is an artist, designer and musician based on the traditional territories of the Lək̓ʷəŋən-speaking Peoples (Victoria, British Columbia). Her illustrations have been featured in a variety of publications, including The Walrus, Reader’s Digest and POETRY Magazine, and she was the artist in residence at the Royal BC Museum for two years. Drawing inspiration from the natural world and ecosystems, Aimée collects plant materials from around her region to make inks.
“A thoughtful picture book that should give us all pause as we ponder the interconnectedness of life on Earth.”
Quill & Quire
“Lovely...A short, beautifully illustrated text with high-level vocabulary; a solid addition to libraries needing more books discussing extinction and its cost.”
School Library Journal
“This collection of endlings may inspire curious readers to further consider the threats of habitat loss, hunting, poisoning and invasive species competition that can lead to species extinction. Recommended.”
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
★“This beautiful dedication to these special animals brings the reality and the irreversible finality of extinction to the forefront and calls on readers to act now, before so many other animals become endlings. Highly recommended for all collections.”
Booklist, starred review