Charles Bergman / Sasquatch Books / 193 pages
In this period of canceled travel plans and rarely venturing past one’s own front porch—if it can be helped—living vicariously through the adventures of people such as Charles Bergman, the author of Every Penguin in the World: A Quest to See Them All, has become one way to remain connected to the planet and its nonhuman inhabitants. Truly, his quest to see every species of penguin around the world can be called an adventure, as he has crossed dangerous rivers, endured gale-force winds, and occasionally sustained injuries to witness and document his favorite animal. Bergman’s deep appreciation for these birds, which was sparked when he saw his first “in-person” penguin in 2003 while snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands, is evident in the book’s beautiful photos and retellings of his encounters with each species.
Within each story, there is an urgent yet hopeful reminder for each of us that we must all do what we can to help preserve the natural world and its residents. Of the 18 penguin species, 10 are classified as endangered or vulnerable, including the Galapagos penguin—the only species found north of the Equator and the least numerous of all, with an estimated 800 breeding pairs.
Throughout his pursuit, Bergman meets researchers, biologists, and sea bird sanctuary personnel who are dedicated to penguin conservation. But, as he points out, even non-experts can help by volunteering, voting, and supporting science and fact-based recommendations. A list of resources to aid readers in doing so can be found at the end of the book. After all, says Bergman: “If we cannot save what we love, and everyone loves penguins, what can we save?”