Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saving the Ghost of the Mountain An Expedition Among Snow Leopards in Mongolia

Text by Sy Montgomery; Photographs by Nic Bishop
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2009. 72 pgs. Juvenile Nonfiction
The snow leopard is among the most beautiful and elusive animals in the world. Even researchers who devote their lives to the study of panthera uncia rarely see the creature in the wild. And indeed neither Sy Montgomery nor Nic Bishop saw a leopard on their expedition to Mongolia with Tom McCarthy, director of the Snow Leopard Trust, but they did see and record in glorious color and detail the people, landscape, and animals of the snow leopard range. In wildlife books for children it doesn't get any better than Montgomery and Bishop and Saving the Ghost of the Mountain is a model of its kind. Readers learn not only about snow leopards but about long-eared desert hedgehogs, how to use yak milk, how to build a ger, and how to use animal poop to discover what kind of animal has been where and what he has eaten. Since one of the Mongolians has worked eight years for the Snow Leopard Trust and never seen one of the big cats, it is lucky that Nic Bishop was able to photograph snow leopards in captivity. A beautiful book about a beautiful animal.

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