Middle Grade Review: The Storm Leopards (Winter Journeys #4) (Holly Webb)

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About This Book:

In this latest installment of the exciting Winter Journeys series, Isabelle catches a glimpse of the elusive snow leopard at the zoo and is magically transported to Mongolia to help a snow leopard family in danger. Includes black-and-white illustrations, a glossary, and further information about Mongolia, its people, and their commitment to protect snow leopards.

When Isabelle and her family go to the zoo, she is the only one to catch a glimpse of the elusive snow leopard. She is fascinated by the animal and wants to learn all about it. One night, she wakes up to find herself in Mongolia, where snow leopards live. She meets a girl her age, and the two begin an exciting adventure to save a snow leopard and her two young cubs. But can the girls protect the beautiful cats from the hunters who are looking for them?

Includes a glossary and additional material at the end of the book about Mongolia, its people, and their commitment to protect snow leopards.

 

 

*Review Contributed by Karen Yingling, Staff Reviewer*

Seasonal Animal Tale
 
 
Isabelle and her family visit the nearby zoo and see some snow leopards, which are a new animal to the zoologically inclined Isabelle. When the family visits the gift shop, Isabelle sees a small stugged snow leopard, which has a card on it that it is made by a family in the Himalayas. The animals are endangered, so the family works with a conservancy organization; in exchange for protecting the animals, they get a contract so that they can sell their crafts, thereby earning a livlihood without hurting the animals. When Isabelle goes to bed, she dreams that she has traveled to the Himalayas, where she meets Odval. Odval is crying because three of her family's goats have been killed, which will negatively impact the family. Odval thinks that Isabelle is her imaginary friend, Sarangerel, and Odval's family can't see Isabelle. Odval worries that her family thinks the snow leopards whom she has been observing are at fault for the goats' deaths, and even though they have a contract to make crafts, they might be inclined to kill the mother, whom Odval has named Grace. This would leave her two cubs to die. They two girls work on a way to save the animals. Isabelle soon returns to her home with a renewed sense of urgency in helping the snow leopards.
 
Good Points
Even though this is book four in the series, it was very easy to pick up the story. It was good to see that Isabelle had an interest in animals, and being able to "travel" to the Himalayas is a fascinating experience that many young readers will enjoy. The details of Odval's family's home, work, and general way of living seem well researched, and there are notes at the end of the book about snow leopards.

Webb excels at tales with both animals and some magical realism, like Sam the Stolen Puppy and the Rose series, and this British author has a lot of books to choose from. I liked the component of helping the animals, which gave this a feel sort of like The Magic Treehouse meets Miles' The Puppy Place.

Occasional page illustrations add to the charm, and the inclusion of a glossary for the some of the Mongolian terms was very helpful. Other titles in this wintery series include The Snow Bear and The Reindeer Girl and would make a lovely winter holiday gift, perhaps accompanied by a stuffed animal.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

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