This powerful nonfiction picture book explores wildlife crossings around the world and how they are helping save thousands of animals every day.
Around the world, bridges, tunnels, and highways are constantly being built to help people get from one place to another. But what happens when construction spreads over, under, across, and through animal habitats? Thankfully, groups of concerned citizens, scientists, engineers, and construction crews have come together to create wildlife crossings to help keep animals safe.
From elk traversing a wildlife bridge across a Canadian interstate to titi monkeys using rope bridges over a Costa Rican road to salamanders creeping through tiny tunnels beneath a Massachusetts street, young readers are certain to be delighted and inspired by these ingenious solutions that are saving the lives of countless wild animals.---from the publisher
48 pages 978-1534465794 Ages 4-8
Keywords: wildlife, animals, architecture, problem solving, animal rescue, building, nature, science and technology, informational picture book, narrative nonfiction, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old
(Sung to the tune of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”)
“I came upon a roadkill deer
A sorrowful sight to behold
He lay upon the highway’s edge
His body was stiff and cold”
-- Bob Rivers (1994)
“Commuters on this wildlife bridge have arrived ahead of schedule. Built over Interstate 80 in Utah, the bridge provides a passage for animals to bypass traffic. State officials previously said that it might take years for wildlife to start using the bridge. New footage shows that it has been a success in just its second year. The bridge was built in 2018 to reduce traffic accidents caused by wandering animals.”
-- from CNN (video) “See Utah’s highway wildlife overpass in action”
Watch this brief CNN video with the kids! It’s fascinating to observe highlights of the variety of creatures, large and small, day and night, who are taking advantage of this particular wildlife overpass!
It’s sad to see dead animals on the shoulder of the highway. More importantly, the long-term accumulation of these deaths lead to diminishment of the planet’s diversity which is bad for the critters, the planet, and for us. Development by the ever-growing human population has led to the extinction or near-extinction of so many creatures, including birds, fish, mammals, and other creatures,
“Over, under, across, through.
Around the world, construction crews build overpasses, underpasses, bridges, and tunnels-- ways for people to get from one place to another.
But what about the animals that live in these places.
What happens when construction spreads over, under, across, and through their habitats?
Around the world, in search of solutions, animal lovers come together.
Opening their minds and their hearts, they work to find ideas, answers.”
CROSSINGS: EXTRAORDINARY STRUCTURES FOR EXTRAORDINARY ANIMALS is an excellent conservation picture book that illustrates how, around the world, a variety of structures are being built to permit animals to avoid getting smooshed as they travel in populated areas.
What’s fun about CROSSINGS is that the solutions reported go well beyond the typical highway overpasses or underpasses that one might imagine being built for this purpose. For instance, there are blue rope bridges for monkeys in Costa Rica. And special bridges in Australia for the red crab population which annually heads en masse to the Indian Ocean to lay eggs.
Mike Orodan’s illustrations include large endearing images of elephants, koalas, black bears, coyotes, and others. Young kids will enjoy hearing how these structures are being built to save animal lives. But they will get even more excited to pore over these lovely illustrations close up after circle time is over.
In addition to dead critters, accidents that involve animals and vehicles can also lead to human tragedy, so there’s a highway safety issue involved.in diverting animals away from roads. Thus, these animal crossings are an all-around win-win.
Along with sharing CROSSINGS and the CNN video, you might also want to dig out a copy of Arlo Guthrie’s “Mooses Come Walking” poem!
Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS