Book Review by Kip Hansen
Susan Crockford, the “Bones”1 of the zoology world, is a partner in Pacific Identifications, Inc., whose homepage proudly declares “We identify animal bones”. She is a world-renowned expert in the identification and analysis of animal bone recovered from archaeological sites and animal digestive tracts, among other things. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, British Columbia and has given public lectures about evolution for 20 years. She has been particularly interested in vertebrate evolution, especially of dogs, polar bears, and humans and is the author of “Rhythms of Life: Thyroid Hormone & the Origin of Species”, in which she unravels the conundrum of how brown bears transformed into polar bears, and a nature-action thriller, the novel “Eaten”.
One of her two newest books2 is “Polar Bear Facts and Myths – A Science Summary for All Ages”. It is available from Amazon in paperback format where is it described this way:
“This beautiful, full color summary explains in simple terms why polar bears are thriving despite the recent loss of Arctic sea ice. It’s written in a question and answer format, in language that readers of all ages can understand (age 7 and up). The book takes a sensible, big-picture approach that many readers will appreciate and is based on the most up-to-date information available.”
It is particularly well-suited for young readers interested in the natural world and will help to allay any fears they might have that polar bears, an iconic Arctic species, are doomed to extinction. It accomplishes the latter using the effective approach of making simple statements that young people may have heard on TV or in school and asking if they are Facts or Myths. Each question is accompanied by a photograph or drawing and an easy to understand explanation as to why the statement is either a true fact or an incorrect myth, giving educational information on each topic.
It is refreshing to see a book for our youth that is based on factual scientific information in a let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may fashion without any attempt to force on the reader a pre-determined, biased or politically correct viewpoint. Our children deserve to be presented with clear and honest facts, even of controversial and highly politicized subjects, and then to be allowed to draw their own conclusions.
For an adult, this just-under 40 page book is a quick read – simple straight-forward text with photographs thoughtfully illustrating each point. It is particularly well-suited to be read to, or with, your children. Both parent and child will learn something they didn’t know.
I intend to send a copy to my 12-year-old animal-loving granddaughter. You can’t get a better recommendation that that.
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2 – The other new book is “Polar Bears: Outstanding Survivors of Climate Change” – a fully-referenced polar bear science book is aimed at adults and high school students – which should be available at Amazon soon.
Polar Bear Facts & Myths Authored by Susan J. Crockford 44 pages ISBN-13: 978154112333 ISBN-10: 1541123336