Hold on! Saving the Spotted Handfish by Gina M Newton and Rachel Tribout. Published by CSIRO

A few decades ago, the number of Spotted Handfish became so small that my species was close to disappearing FOREVER

Written in the voice of an endangered Spotted Handfish, readers will learn about this amazing animal and the devoted scientists, conservationists and citizen scientists who have worked so hard to raise the numbers from close to extinction to critically endangered (not great but at least it is on the rise!).

The Spotted Handfish is a little known fish that dwells on the seafloor in the coastal waters of Tasmania close to Hobart and it numbers have dwindled over the years due do climate change, poor fishing practices, pollution and habitat damage.

Children of all ages will enjoy this book due to the voice – spoken by the Spotted Handfish, the facts embedded throughout the story about what the Spotted Handfish is and also the story it tells of how the scientists are working to save it.

Rachel Tribout’s illustrations add fun and detail to the story allowing the reader to see what the Handfish looks like, it’s habitat and how people interact.

Reading books about endangered animals – although upsetting at times – allows for children to see that with combined efforts and awareness animals can be brought back from on the brink of extinction. It also helps children and adults to understand that everything humans do has a huge impact on the animals that live here too.

Readers will be able to treat this book like a non-fiction book with the glossary at the back and the timeline on the back cover page.

Great book – highly recommend to use:

  • Read out loud to build literary skills
  • Living things – case study
  • Recount – looking at timelines and how to create story from this.
  • Sustainability – how we can look after animals and the environment

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Access some great teacher notes from CSIRO here: https://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7903/#forteachers

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