"Chiru are the only animals of their kind" opens this stirring picture book set on the Chang Tang plains in Tibet. These little animals who look a bit like antelope stand about as high as "a baseball bat". Their wool is so soft and so warm that it is highly prized for making shawls. But, like every other animal who has a valuable attribute, be it egret or beaver or rhino, when too many human beings want what the animal has, the population of that animal decreases drastically and that's exactly what happened to the chiru (chee-roo). "The population shrank from one million chiru to fewer than one hundred thousand." How could the chiru be saved? This is where the power of the individual shines so magnificently. A man named George B. Shaller came to Tibet and realized that if he could find the mysterious place where the chiru went to birth their young, he could fight to get that region protected. Here is the story of his amazing journey along with three other men, as they followed the path of the chiru and sought to find the mystery of where they went to breed. The light and color of the illustrations give a spiritual feeling that resonates with the sense that these rugged four are traveling at an extremely high altitude and wandering in an area where man does not have the upper hand. The value that George Shaller and the rest of the team placed on saving the chiru intertwines with the strong connection between nature and man in this remote part of the world. Doing something noble, protecting our natural resources, placing your values and your purpose on something larger than yourself that leaves the material world in the dust and the true wonder of this achievement all glow in this intriguing true adventure story. Beautiful lilting narrative and gentle inviting illustrations make this a real gem. 40 pages Ages 5-11
The Chiru of High Tibet: A True Story
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt September 27, 2010
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