The Lion Queens of India

by Jan Reynolds (Author) Jan Reynolds (Illustrator)

The Lion Queens of India
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

2021 Orbis Pictus Award Recommended Title

Award-winning photojournalist Jan Reynolds offers readers a fascinating glimpse into the world of the endangered Asiatic lions and the female forest rangers who fight to save them.

In the far west of India, in Gir National Park, dwells one of the rarest big cats on Earth: the Asiatic lion. Known for its distinctive belly flap and the bushy tassels on its tail, the Asiatic lion once roamed from the Mediterranean Sea to the Bay of Bengal. But human hunting and expansion into their territory eroded the lions' numbers, until only twelve remained alive.

Now more than six hundred lions stalk the forest and savannahs of Gir -- thanks in part to the work of the Lion Queens, a team of female rangers who specialize in caring for the Asiatic lions. Join Rashila and her friends on a journey around the park as they visit the lions in their habitats, monitor the web of life that encompasses all of the animals, and work with local villagers to preserve harmony between the human and animal populations. Readers will discover not only the many factors that influence the lions' lives, but what they can do to help ensure the lions' survival. Illustrated throughout with compelling photographs, The Lion Queens of India is an inspiring portrait of the lives of these female rangers and animal conservation efforts across the world.


Kirkus Reviews

Young readers will be inspired by these women who show an unwavering commitment to preserving the wildlife, no matter what it takes. 

School Library Journal

Gr 1-3--The Gir National Park in Gujarat, India, is a sanctuary for the last remaining Asiatic lions in the world. Once nearly extinct, they now number close to 600 and are part of the natural cycle of life in the well-guarded reserve. An all-women group of park rangers, known as the "Lion Queens," protect the big cats from poachers, rescue them after accidents, and ensure their well-being. Rashila Vadher, the first woman to be appointed a park ranger at the sanctuary, describes working with the lions. Vadher and her fellow rangers also work closely with local villagers to offer education on the coexistence of lions and townspeople. Simple language and many photographs provide a clear picture of life among lions, although little is said of the dangers posed by poachers. The success of the sanctuary also presents additional problems as the lions outnumber the space provided. Vadher and her colleagues are working to acquire additional parkland to protect future generations of these magnificent animals. VERDICT A rare, positive look at saving a species from extinction aimed at younger readers. A useful resource for young children interested in big cats and suitable for classroom units.--Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, formerly at Trinity-Pawling Sch., Pawling, NY

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Praise for Jan Reynolds

Only the Mountains Do Not Move

"The straightforward and economical text explains the construction of the huts, the use and importance of the livestock and the responsibilities, games and social traditions of girls and of boys within the group. The dozens of photographs inside and on the cover are excellent... A revealing look at a vibrant and distinct culture." — Kirkus Reviews

"With many clear color photos and an appended glossary with pronunciation, this is an excellent addition to classroom units on Africa today." — Booklist

Celebrate! Connections Among Cultures

Chicago Public Library Best of the Best

"Colorful, inviting photographs introduce readers to connections among cultures from around the world...he excellent-quality photographs and the brief, engaging text come together to promote the theme: 'We are one human family celebrating life on Earth!' A pronunciation guide, author's note, and map are appended. A welcome addition to multicultural literature." — School Library Journal

Cycle of Rice, Cycle of Life

Smithsonian Notable Children's Book

Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year

International Reading Association Notable Books for Global Society

"John Burroughs Young Readers Award, John Burroughs Association/American Museum of Natural HistoryA photo-picture book about the sanctity of life, sharing, and working together...he breathtaking photos of Cycle of Rice are stunning golds and greens. They give young readers a glimpse into the details and mechanics of sustainable farming, but more richly, into the lives of people who have learned to live in balance with nature and with each other... a powerful reminder of essential blessings." — The Boston Globe

"A book like this can inspire inquiry projects in classrooms or simply be enjoyed for its content." — Booklist

"A rare, positive look at saving a species from extinction aimed at younger readers." — School Library Journal

"A rare, positive look at saving a species from extinction aimed at younger readers." — School Library Journal

"Vadher's passion for her work, respect for the lions, and commitment to education come through in the conversational text and many well-chosen photos." — The Horn Book

Jan Reynolds

Jan Reynolds is an award-winning author and photographer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic, The New York Times, and Outside magazine. All seven books in her Vanishing Cultures series of photo-essays for children were recognized as Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, and she is also the author of Celebrate! Connections Among Cultures; Cycle of Rice, Cycle of Life; and Only the Mountains Do Not Move. Reynolds holds the world record for women's high altitude skiing, was part of the first expedition to circumnavigate Mount Everest, and performed a solo crossing of the Himalayas. She lives with her family in Stowe, Vermont. Please visit her on the web at janreynolds.com.

Jan Reynolds is an award-winning author and photographer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic, The New York Times, and Outside magazine. All seven books in her Vanishing Cultures series of photo-essays for children were recognized as Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, and she is also the author of Celebrate! Connections Among Cultures; Only the Mountains Do Not Move, and The Lion Queens of India. Reynolds holds the world record for women's high altitude skiing, was part of the first expedition to circumnavigate Mount Everest, and performed a solo crossing of the Himalayas. She lives with her family in Stowe, Vermont. Please visit her on the web at janreynolds.com.

Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9781643790510
Lexile Measure
N/A
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publisher
Lee & Low Books
Publication date
September 20, 2020
Series
-
BISAC categories
JNF003220 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals | Animal Welfare
JNF003270 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals | Endangered
JNF003130 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals | Lions, Tigers, Leopards, etc.
JNF038020 - Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | Asia
JNF023000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Girls & Women
Library of Congress categories
Women
India
Lions
Conservation
Forest rangers
Vadher, Rashila
Orbis Pictus Award
Recommended Title 2021

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