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Children's Nonfiction History Of Science

The Late, Great Endlings

Stories of the Last Survivors

by (author) Deborah Kerbel

illustrated by Aimée van Drimmelen

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2022
History of Science, Endangered, Environmental Conservation & Protection
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price

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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 a écrit des livres pour les jeunes adultes, les préadolescents et les lecteurs débutants. Ses romans ont été présélectionnés pour les Prix littéraires du Gouverneur général, le prix du livre de l’année pour les jeunes adultes de l’Association canadienne des bibliothèques et le Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award. Elle vit à Toronto avec son mari, ses deux adolescents et Freddie, leur chien adopté.


DEBORAH KERBEL was born in London, England, and now lives in Thornhill, Ontario with her husband, son and daughter, and a rescue dog named Freddie. Deborah has written a number of picture books, and is the author of four young adult and two middle-grade novels, including My Deal with the Universe. Her books have been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association’s YA Book Award, and many readers’ choice awards. Visit her online at

Deborah Kerbel's profile page

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.


Aimée van Drimmelen's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens
  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Children's Book Committee Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Long-listed, Green Earth Book Award
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
  • Long-listed, The Nature Generation Green Earth Book Award

Editorial Reviews

“A thoughtful picture book that should give us all pause as we ponder the interconnectedness of life on Earth.”

Quill & Quire

“Invites young readers to intimately access the stories of eight animals whose species no longer exist…Executes beautifully painted natural ink artwork for all of the animals, rendering them extremely lifelike.”

Children's Literature

“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

“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

“Will inspire children to learn and develop a deep love for the fauna around them.”

Canadian Children's Book News

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