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The Tapir Scientist: Saving South America's Largest Mammal (Scientists in the Field Series) Hardcover – July 23, 2013


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"The Griffin's Riddle"
The latest in The Imaginary Veterinary series includes bonus writing, art, and science activities that will help readers discover more about its featured mythological creatures. Activities are designed for the home and the classroom. Learn more about the author, Suzanne Selfors
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 970L (What's this?)
  • Series: Scientists in the Field Series
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (July 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547815484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547815480
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 11.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-10–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, NJα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Where in the world are Montgomery and Bishop? The latest project of the award-winning dynamic duo takes the reader to Brazil’s Pantanal, the world’s largest wetlands, where field scientist Patricia Medici leads a talented team in search of the unsung tapir. Montgomery’s typically polished narrative and Bishop’s illuminating photography showcases the research group’s camaraderie, as well as their dedication to protecting tapirs by tagging and studying them in their natural habitats. Both the images and text highlight how the tight-knit team operates as a think tank when obstacles arise, such as the failure of a tranquilizing dart to adequately penetrate, and solutions must be found. Montgomery’s inclusion of the story of Benjamin, a British schoolboy who led a donation campaign, and Medici’s response—naming a tapir in his honor—serves to personalize the project and model what other young enthusiasts can do to help. This contribution to the Scientists in the Field series seamlessly blends eloquent text and vivid images to spotlight the gentle tapir and those field scientists whose lives are committed to conserve animal species for the sake of our environment and our humanity. Grades 5-8. --Gail Bush

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Flalamingo on March 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Read all about tapirs; what they eat, how they live, and where they live (etc). The most funny looking mammals (they're a little cute too!). Browse through the members of the tapir scientists group and how they got interested in tapirs and saving animals.
What I liked about this book:The great photographs and stories.
What I disliked about this book:The two men who killed animals when they were kids.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Wallace on August 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although this book is non-fiction aimed at young people, it is set up by the authors as a mystery thriller complete with fascinating cast of characters, suspense, and the excitement of the chase. The remote and nature-rich Pantanal wetland of South America is explored with beautiful photos and revealing descriptions. The book explains what tapirs are, where they live, a little of their history, and how they are related to other animals. We learn why they are endangered, and why it is so important and challenging to study them.

Both traditional and cutting edge scientific methods are used used to study the tapirs and these are also explained in the book. The woman who leads the study, Patricia Medici, is an inspiring role model for any young, aspiring natural scientist.

Highly recommended for 5th grade and above. Adults interested in nature and endangered species will also enjoy it. It makes for a wonderful coffee table book/conversation piece as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Beckham on August 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifully done a good coffee table book - and if you have friends who havent a clue about this soon to be extinct animal, you can show off your caring nature ;-)
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More About the Author

"Part Emily Dickinson, part Indiana Jones," as the Boston Globe has called her, Sy Montgomery has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Zaire and swum with piranhas and pink dolphins in the Amazon. To research her books, films and articles, she has worked in a pit swarming with 18,000 snakes in Canada and been hunted by a tiger in India. She has hiked the Altai Mountains of Mongolia's Gobi desert in search of snow leopards and penetrated the cloud forests of Papua New Guinea to radio collar tree kangaroos. No place is too far to go to bring animals' true stories to adults and children around the world.

Th author of the national bestseller, The Good Good Pig, as well as 15 other celebrated nonfiction books, Montgomery writes for print as well as broadcast in an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible at what she considers a critical turning point in human history. "We are on the cusp of either destroying this sweet, green Earth or revolutionizing the way we understand the rest of animate creation," she says. "It's an important time to be writing about the connections we share with our fellow creatures. It's a great time to be alive."

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The Tapir Scientist: Saving South America's Largest Mammal (Scientists in the Field Series)
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