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Children's Nonfiction Environmental Conservation & Protection

Animals at the EDGE

Saving the World's Rarest Creatures

by (author) Jonathan Baillie & Marilyn Baillie

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2008
Environmental Conservation & Protection, General
Recommended Age
7 to 12
Recommended Grade
3 to 4
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2008
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2008
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) species are evolutionarily unique, which means if they don’t survive, there will be no similar species left on Earth. But all hope is not lost. EDGE researchers are working hard to locate, create awareness of, and ensure a safe future for these special creatures. In Animals at the EDGE, readers will meet some of these intrepid scientists and follow them on expeditions that take them to the limits of the Earth — from the heights of the Cyclops Mountains in Papua, New Guinea to the depths of China’s Yangtze River, to the forests of Haiti, and across the vast stretches of the Gobi Desert. These extraordinary creatures include the long-beaked echidna, a rare spine-covered mammal with relatives that date back to dinosaur times; the long-eared jerboa, a big-eared mouse-sized creature that hops like a kangaroo; and the tiny bumblebee bat, so small it can fit on a fingertip. The animals are part of the Zoological Society of London’s EDGE of Existence project, a global conservation program started to highlight these unique creatures so they do not silently disappear from our world forever.

About the authors

DR. JONATHAN BAILLIE is Conservation Programmes Director at the Zoological Society of London, where he is responsible for conservation projects focusing on threatened species in more than 30 countries. In January of 2006 he founded the EDGE of Existence program, which focuses on Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species. Dr. Baillie has also contributed to some of the most influential documents on the status of the world's species, including the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the WWF Living Planet Report. He lives in London, England.

Jonathan Baillie's profile page

MARILYN BAILLIE has enjoyed a varied career as an award-winning children's writer, a nursery school teacher, a lecturer at the Royal Ontario Museum, and a children's magazine and book editor. She is the author of numerous beloved children's books including Nose to Toes, Small Wonders: Baby Animals in the Wild, Amazing Things Animals Do, Animals at the EDGE: Saving the World's Rarest Creatures, and Whoosh! A Watery World of Wonderful Creatures. She is a former editor of chickaDEE magazine and lives in Toronto, Canada.

Marilyn Baillie's profile page


  • Short-listed, Alberta Children's Choice Awards, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Winner, Nautilus Book Awards, Children's Non-fiction Category, Silver
  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Awards, Diamond Willow Award
  • Short-listed, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year, Juvenile Non-fiction Category
  • Long-listed, VOYA, Non-fiction Honor List

Editorial Reviews

The combination of scientist profiles and excellent animal photographs may well inspire some future conservationists.

Kirkus Reviews

The colorful design, the weird and fascinating creatures and the human connection between scientist and reader make Animals at the EDGE a great addition to personal and library collections.

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

Fabulous photos of scarce, strange and, often, sweet-looking animals and intimate glimpses of the young scientists who are working to save them make this exciting look at work of the Zoological Society of London's EDGE of Existence Program an engaging introduction to the science of conservation.

An attractive book that gives a good introduction to some of the people and animals of the EDGE project. It will provide interesting reading for the animal-loving child and perhaps inspire some to think about biology and conservation as a career.

Canadian Children's Book News

The content in the book is written in digestible chunks in 'kid-friendly,' 'you-centered' language...Unlike other books that 'preach' about conservation, this book shows kids WHY it's important to take care of the Earth.

The Well-Read

[Jonathan Baillie and Marilyn Baillie] shine a little light on several of the world's rarest and most endangered species...[and] with the aid of numerous photographs of these creatures and their habitats, and lively text introduce readers to rare mammals like the Attenborough's long-beaked echidna.

The Globe and Mail

… marvelous photographs and descriptions help bring the creatures to life...but what sets this book apart most is its tone...The effect is to get the reader excited about science, and the hope it offers for the future.

Quill & Quire

If you love to read and are interested in endangered animals, this is the book for you.

KNOW Magazine excellent resource for those interested in science and could encourage the young zoologist...this book offers a wake up for the world filled with information about little known creatures that could never be known if it wasn't for these scientists and this program.

Resource Links

Gorgeous photography on every page enhances this excellent book that not only warns young readers about the plight of endangered animals, but also teaches them about what they can do to promote conservation.

Midwest Book Review

Librarian Reviews

Animals at the EDGE: Saving the World’s Rarest Creatures

Mother and son, writer Marilyn and biologist Jonathan Baillie, team up in this fascinating look at endangered animals around the world. We meet animals that we have never encountered before, from the long-eared jerboa, whose adorable little face and over-sized ears grace the The Classroom Bookshelf by Mary Anne Cree In this issue, we look at three new books that bring geography and the natural world to younger readers. cover, to the golden-rumped elephantshrew, a distant relative of the elephant that is the size of a shrew.

EDGE is the acronym for the Zoological Society of London’s Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered project. Through its initiative, scientists study some of the most unique endangered creatures around the world. The book focuses on a number of these animals and the adventurous scientists who study them.

Along with Jonathan Baillie, who explores Papua in search of the longbeaked echidna (which looks sort of like a small aardvark with porcupine quills), we meet Sam Turvey who researches the Yangtze River dolphin, Kate Jones who travels through Asia looking for the bumblebee bat and Ben Collen whose current focus is the pygmy hippo of western Africa.

Each double-page spread includes information on the animal, a photo and brief bio of the scientist, the scientist’s to-do list and dramatic colour photos of the animal. This is an attractive book that gives a good introduction to some of the people and animals of the EDGE project. It will provide interesting reading for the animal-loving child and perhaps inspire some to think about biology and conservation as a career.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2009. Vol.32 No.2.

Animals at the EDGE: Saving the World’s Rarest Creatures

Discover how Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) animals live. Learn what’s being done to promote their lasting survival. Meet those working hard to create an awareness of, and ensure a safe future for, these unique creatures. Includes photos, sidebars, glossary and index.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

Other titles by Jonathan Baillie

Other titles by Marilyn Baillie