Border Crossings -- a Different Look at Border Issues


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The borders of the United States are a controversial topic lately. Whether you are in favor of a wall or not, there are many things to consider. Today I am sharing a new picture book (released today) that shares a point of view that I know I personally have never considered. It is a point of view that we all need to consider. It is the point of view of the animals in the area and who migrate between the countries. The book is Border Crossings by Sneed B. Collard III and illustrated by Howard Gray. It is recommended for ages 6 to 9. 

From the Publisher:

Where protective plants once stood, an ugly scar now stretches.

Follow two endangered ocelots as they attempt to cross the border in this powerful picture book about the environmental impact of the border wall.

Explore the beauty and biodiversity of our spectacular border area and see how the border wall impacts plants and animals. As two endangered ocelots attempt to cross the border, they face obstacles that drive home the catastrophic effects of the border wall—and the many benefits of keeping the border barrier-free. Powerful storytelling introduces young readers to the wildlife that thrives along the border and urges budding nature buffs to value and protect our environment.

From Me:

This story tells about two ocelots who are trying to migrate where their kind have always gone. A young male comes from the North wanting to pass into Mexico to find a mate and a territory of his own. A female comes from the South wanting to find a mate. She gets lucky and finds passage in the desert. The male however cannot find passage and thus the numbers of ocelot will continue to decrease as more cannot mate and grow the population. The story is sad but also an introduction to ocelots as well as the concerns at the border. As walls are built along the border, we are no longer keeping out just people. We are not allowing nature to migrate as it should. 

The story is well written and interesting to read. I think the kids will enjoy reading it and/or hearing it read aloud. The description of the wall is so interesting as we can imagine animals may see it. The illustrations are also wonderful. The book fits for discussing current events as well as learning about ocelots. According to National Geographic, an ocelot is about twice as large as a house cat. They have gorgeous, sleek, dappled coats. In the United States they mostly live in Texas, but they are endangered there. As you can imagine, losing the ability to migrate to the other areas where ocelots live (across the border) will decrease the numbers even more of ocelots in Texas. 

In the back of the book there is the Author's Note as well as a glossary and further reading about the issues happening at the border. In the Author's Note more information is given about what is happening with the walls. Did you know that the engineers building the wall leave wide strips of barren land on both sides of the wall. It is destroying ecosystems including ones that only exist in the area of our manmade borders. This book is eye-opening!! I hope the adults who read it to the children will take action. I hope it will spread in classrooms, libraries and more. Please check out this book!