Cover Image: Operation Pangolin

Operation Pangolin

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Did you know that there is a mammal that has scales? I didn’t until I read Operation Pangolin by Suzie Eszterhas (Millbrook, 2023). This book refers to one man’s mission to save the dwindling population of pangolins from human poachers.

I hadn’t even heard of this small reptile-looking, ant-eating mammal. Surprisingly, it is more closely related to carnivores like wolverines than to the ant-eater, who I think it looks like! Scientists also do not know a lot about pangolins, so all help for them is also research. The animals are small, shy, and territorial, and they live in grasslands in Africa and Asia.

Pangolins defend themselves by rolling up into a ball, so only their scales can be seen. That doesn’t stop their largest predator: humans. They are in danger of extinction because humans seek their keratin scales for folk medicine and their meat as a delicacy. More than a million pangolins have been illegally poached in the last 20 years. During that time, a man named Thai Van Ngyuen has been rescuing pangolins from poachers, providing medical care, and releasing them back into the wild. Of all he’s recused, 85% successfully rehabilitate!

Thai’s story was very encouraging. It’s so sad that these animals have been endangered because of humans, but it is nice that there are scientists studying the pangolin and helping them return to their homes. This book was lovingly illustrated with photographs of pangolins, diagrams, and maps, and the captions gave some additional information that was not found in the text. It was very nicely put together, and a wonderful book for learning about a little-known endangered animal.

Note: I received a digital copy of this book for review consideration.
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Operation Pangolin is a well written and accessible book for all ages about conservation and (of course) about pangolins by Suzi Eszterhas. Released 4th Oct 2022 by Lerner, it's 40 pages and is available in library binding and ebook formats. 

The photography throughout is clear and in color. The accompanying text is both sobering and in some places hopeful. Although pangolins are likely the most trafficked animal in the world as well as being endangered, the conservation scientists and grassroots efforts to save these beautiful animals is tireless. 

It's accessible and well written and although it's mostly aimed at 8-12 year olds (Lexile measure 1030) it's full of interesting facts about pangolins' anatomy, behavior, and habitat which everyone will find interesting. The author and publisher have also included an abbreviated glossary and a bibliography/links for further reading. 

Four and a half stars. This would be a good choice for public or school library acquisition, gift giving, and home use. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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This is a good children's non-fiction book with wonderful pictures and easily explained information about pangolins. It makes me sad though to think that this side of the world will not know about these animals and even sadder that it does not care. We can only be thankful for people who care enough about animals that others exploit and hope that they receive the strength to go on. I thank NetGalley for listing this book and Lerner Publishing Group for the chance to read it!
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Operation Pangolin: Saving the World's Only Scaled Mammal by Suzi Eszterhas is currently scheduled for release on October 4 2022. Prized for their hard scales, pangolins are one of the most poached animals on the planet. They are also highly endangered. Yet scientists know very little about them. Pangolin rescuers and researchers such as Thai Nguyen have the difficult task of saving pangolins, changing local laws to prevent poaching, educating local communities, and learning more about these mysterious creatures. Join author and photographer Suzi Eszterhas in this exploration of the jungles of Vietnam where Thai works with the Save Vietnam's Wildlife organization to save endangered pangolins.

Operation Pangolin: Saving the World's Only Scaled Mammal is a well written and researched book to introduce young readers to pangolins and the threats they face. I first heard about pangolins about five years ago and have been taken by their cuteness. Someone called them (I wish I remember who) "the most endangered animal you've never heard of". and I think that holds true today for most people. I do think awareness has risen- google pangolin memes and you will be thrilled- but even having read about this adorable creatures previously I learned a great deal about them and their habitats in this book. I was goad to see how hard some people are working to preserve these creatures, and hope that this book inspires more people to help however they can, even if it is just sharing the fact that these amazing animals exist and promoting World Pangolin Day (which is is February). 

Operation Pangolin: Saving the World's Only Scaled Mammal  is a great read for those that have never heard of the pangolin and those that want to know more about them.
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This is a Middle Grade book, but adults can also learn a lot from it. To make sure the target readers get this, the terms are explained in a very basic way, but the information about this fascinating species is not widely known. I read every book about animals that I can find, and knew that pangolins existed, but I had no idea about their origins, distribution and habits. The best part is that it raises consciousness about their being so endangered (what animal is safe in our world after all?) and it teaches young readers, and grownups interested in the subject, what you can do to help. The author follows the story of Thai Nguyen, who saw poachers attack a pangolin mom when he was a kid, and grew up to save them. Not a lot is known about the species, so Thai has been figuring it out as he tries to help. The photographs are gorgeous and feature not only different species of pangolins, but also the rescue centers and the humans that work there. It’s a short book, but it’s a great way to get to know at least a little about these amazing animals.  
I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, #NetGalley/#Lerner Publishing Group, Millbrook Press ™!
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I have always thought pangolin was an armadillo. So I am glad I got this book o read. Now I know they are not armadillo. The pictures ate absolutely beautiful. There is quite a lot of information about this cute animal. I have learned a lot. Now I want another book about pangolins. I would love to make fundraiser for these animals They are on the endangered list. Loved the book to pieces and I think children would absolutely love the book as much as I do.

I received a free copy of the book and is voluntarily writing a review.
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Miigweetch NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

This is a fantastic non-fiction book about pangolins, the world’s only scaled mammal. Unfortunately, their unique characteristics also make pangolins one of the world’s most trafficked animals. The book opens with a story about poaching, and it made me tear up. I try to find hope in the book’s story of Thai Van Nguyen, a Vietnamese man who has made it his life’s mission to rescue and save as many of these creatures as possible.

Suzi Eszterhas photography is lush and a delight to engage with; I found myself “ooohhing” and “awwwing” over more than one page. I recommend this book for general school library use, as well as any classroom that has a biological science unit, especially dealing with environmental protection and conservation of wildlife. This book is suitable for readers of all ages and any animal lover would enjoy it (would make a great coffee table book!)
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5-star read! Loved this excellent non-fiction book about pangolins that combines Suzi Eszterhas's wildlife photography with information on the animal's anatomy, habitat, behaviors, and the threats it faces in the wild. The book is framed in terms Thai Van Nguyen's rescue efforts in Vietnam giving young readers a detailed picture of how one person can take make a difference and be a leader, but discusses the problem of conservation and extinction in terms of broad government and private actions needed to ensure pangolins survive and thrive. There is even a section on pangolin pups which was completely adorable. Rich back matter includes a glossary and activities for young readers to do if they've been inspired to help this endangered animal. Highly recommend and will be getting a copy! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4907255825
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Wildlife photographer and author Suzi Eszterhas introduces readers to the efforts of rescuers and researchers like Thai Nguyen who are working to save pangolins, the world's only scaled mammal. Lots of photos detail the work being done to save pangolins, educate the public, and care for these endangered animals.  The book provides a fine introduction to how scientists work and specifically to the habits and needs of pangolins. Short chapters deal with topics like where pangolins are found, why they need care and rescue, and how this is being done. A good choice for classes studying animals and/or the work of scientists.
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