1. It's a PRINT book, beautifully illustrated and formatted, with suggestions of links and other books to follow up each selection. Books have a sense of permanence that shows in the care the publisher took to make something you want to pick up. It's an honor to see that others validate our work and our mission. So thank you to our far-seeing publisher, Josalyn Moran, who had the vision and creativity to take a piece of the Internet (where publishing costs nothing and writing is ephemeral) and turn it into something familiar and established but with a new twist. It is astonishing to see how much format contributes to value. And hats off to our intrepid editor, Jean Reynolds, who has pulled together a disparate collection that makes cohesive sense.
2. Students are being overwhelmed with Too Much Information. It's positively numbing and eye-glazing. The bite-sized essays in 30 Animals that Share Our World are true hors d'oeuvres. Delicious, unique, a lot of what you didn't know you didn't know. Yes, it's a book but you don't have to read it from beginning to end, you can skip around, put it down, pick it up. No rules. Lately, when I go to a restaurant, appetizers are my dinner. Yum!
3. We learn from many voices. Fourteen authors, all iNK members, created these Minutes. We all have different passions and we filter our writing to create memorable presentations of content.
This is not the sterile, everything-you-need-to-know encyclopedic treatment of information. It is not the once-over-lightly, cover-the-subject with the obvious and mundane. In rereading these Minutes I learned about a fish that sees red, many instances where wild animals ask for help, an animal that is now sadly extinct and another that has been saved from extinction. Make no mistake, this is a book about LIFE and DEATH writ large.
4. Revealed humanity is behind all good writing. When a fiction writer grabs your attention, you make note of the author's name. In fiction, the author's name is his/her brand. All of an author's books are shelved together. Nonfiction is cataloged and shelved by topic. We're all over the nonfiction part of the library. So when a student returns a book he/she liked and asks for another one like it, librarians usually pull out another book on the same topic. It seldom occurs to give them another book by the same author. We're hoping you rethink that. In colleges, the most popular professors' classes are standing-room-only, regardless of the subject.
5. And finally, when it comes to food, an appetizer is supposed to get your digestive juices flowing for what is to follow. 30 Animals that Share Our World is a like dazzling tray of culinary morsels, and maybe one of them is soooo good you'll run to the library to dish up more.