An orca named Tahlequah drew attention in 2018 when she carried her dead calf on her nose through the Salish Sea for 17 days – a rare glimpse into the wild, which also showed that animals, too, mourn for their dead, and the importance of humans’ role in other species’ lives.
This led to Rosanne Parry to write about it in her new novel, “A Whale of the Wild,” with illustrations by Lindsay Moore.
In this novel, she leads readers to dive deep into the ocean and make known that the species is in peril. Overfishing have depleted the salmon population, which they solely feed on; oil spills and other toxic wastes poison their reproductive systems; and ships interfere with echolocation, which resulted to the deaths of many whales. Now, only 73 of these intelligent mammals remain.
She uses the point of view of the animal to tell the devastating tale of dying and pushed towards the brink of extinction. She addresses environmental issues in the perspective of orca siblings named Vega and Deneb. They go on adventures – swimming away from tsunamis, rescuing other whales trapped in nets, or navigating themselves through debris.
Then there’s the novel of Philippe Cousteau and Austin Aslan, “The Endangereds,” which delves into the question: What happens if the animals were in charge?
James Madsen illustrated this piece, which includes a polar bear, an orangutan, a pangolin, and a narwhal. The story goes to show these four mammals going to “The Ark,” glass dome designed to protect “at risk” wildlife.
A superhero team of animals that were so intelligent were on a mission to restore “balance back to nature.” This is jampacked with action and thrill with a simple message to its readers, “Protect biodiversity and work together.”