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The Chiru of High Tibet: A True Story Hardcover – September 27, 2010
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 1-3–Chiru are small, antelope-type animals that live in the mountains of Tibet. Although their wool is prized for its warmth, super-softness, and strength, the animals cannot be sheared like sheep. Obtaining their expensive skins means killing them, a practice that has resulted in the herds becoming endangered. This book takes a potentially horrifying topic and turns it into a heroic adventure tale. George B. Schaller studied wildlife all over the world, but became particularly interested in Tibet. He knew the chiru needed protection and began a quest to find their hidden breeding grounds. In order to save them, he thought that their land should be protected from hunters. Although he was unable to find the right area, four other men took up the cause. Experienced mountain climbers, they set out on a 200-mile journey through rough terrain following the animals. Their success in discovering the calving grounds gave Schaller the information he needed to lobby the Chinese government to protect the area and give the chiru a chance to survive. This story is told in elegant yet conversational language. Set-off boxes provide important factual information without interrupting the artistic flow of the main text. The acrylic paintings and book design are devised for high effect. The opening pictures employ an icy blue palette, introducing the cold atmosphere of the Tibetan plain. Photographs of the treacherous terrain and the men involved in the project are appended.Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
With an urgent conservation message, this picture book about a threatened species is also a true adventure that will hold readers with its action and facts about science. In spare, free verse, Martin describes the chiru, which look like antelope / but are related to wild goats and sheep and are at risk from poachers for their special wool, shahtoosh, the warmest and finest in the world. Conservationist George Schaller knows he has to protect the remote, secret place where chiru females give birth, so he follows them, helped by four mountain-climbing trekkers, who travel 200 miles to the birthing ground. The mixed-media spreads illustrate the wonder of the arduous journey that ends when the trekkers find the calving ground, which is now a protected secret place. The threat to the amazing species will move young readers: Wearing a shahtoosh shawl is the same as wearing three to five dead chiru. A spread of color photos from the expedition and a short bibliography conclude. Grades 1-3. --Hazel Rochman
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This picture book tells the tale of a grueling task: finding the important habitat of the endangered chiru, or Tibetan antelope, so that it could be protected, in the vast, harsh, cold Tibetan Plateau. These animals were slaughtered for their fine hair, much more valuable than cashmere, to make pashmina scarves. Children ought to have exposure to real-life heroes who work to preserve Earth's biological diversity, and this book will start them down that road. Delightful drawings accompany the text.
Read aloud: age 7 and older.
Read yourself: age 8 - 9 and older.
In the northern plains of Tibet, in a place called the Chang Tang, live the chiru - the only animals of their kind. Wool made from chiru is the warmest and finest wool in the world. But to make that wool, the chiru must be killed. Greed for chiru wool resulted in the chiru population rapidly diminishing. George B. Schaller knew he must do something to protect the chiru, but in order to do that he must find the secret place where the Chang Tang chiru gave birth. After Schaller made several failed attempts to find the secret place, four mountain-climbing men offered to help.
This is the true, amazing story of a compassionate scientist and the team of brave men who risked their lives to discover the unknown place chiru give birth, have the Chinese government protect that place from hunters, and keep its exact location a secret to help the chiru stay hidden and safe forever.
Meticulously researched, beautifully written and dramatically illustrated, this marvelous book is outstanding in every regard.