A lot of animal species are in danger of becoming extinct for many reasons. Nicola Davies highlights this plight in Last, her debut as an illustrator! Last is an important book to teach children about animals in captivity, and how important it is to keep species alive. If that hasn’t convinced you, here are a few more reasons why Last should be your next read!
- Last is based on a real life white rhino! Sudan was the last male Northern White Rhino. Although he is no longer with us, he could be the key to saving the species through reproductive science!
- Last brings awareness to the growing number of endangered species, both in the wild and in captivity. This awareness is necessary for experts trying to save these animals! The more people know about the threat to these species, the more people are able to help!
- On her debut as an illustrator, Nicola Davies uses some interesting techniques to enhance her story! Readers can tell the moods of the characters based on the amount of colour surrounding them. When in captivity, the rhino is surrounded by grey as he is unhappy in his surroundings. However, the girl watching him wears a bright yellow coat and a green scarf because she is happy to see all these different animals in her local zoo. When the rhino reminisces on his childhood, he is surrounded by rich and vibrant backgrounds, contrasting completely with his current situation.
- Adding to her use of colour, Nicola Davies also overlays the animals in captivity with words from environmental speeches and advertising, giving them a new dimension! The bleakness of the rhino’s surroundings is contrasted with the inspirational words covering him.
- Last ends with a sense of hope! It shows how a little change in the rhino’s lifestyle can significantly improve his chances of survival and that of his species. There are ways of delaying the extinction of certain animals and it is important that people are aware and are fighting for them!
Written by Amber Garvey, Tiny Owl intern
- Last is Nicola Davies’s debut as an illustrator! – School Library Journal
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