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Felina's New Home: A Florida Panther Story    by Loran Wlodarski & Lew Clayton order for
Felina's New Home
by Loran Wlodarski
Order:  USA  Can
Arbordale, 2010 (2010)
* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Felina's New Home is a tender story about endangered Florida panthers. When Felina was a kitten, with blue eyes and spots for camouflage, she walked with her mother, who taught her to hunt, to find places for cool water to drink, and shady places to rest away from the heat of the sun. One day when she was grown, Felina noticed the shady place was gone and that many trees had disappeared.

Felina's forest companions noticed the changes as well - the red-cockaded woodpeckers, who rested in holes of trees, where they planned to raise families. The large gopher tortoise agreed with Felina about the fast cars on a new roadway, and the danger it created to cross over to the other side for food. With the disappearance of the trees came noises from humans and all-terrain vehicles. A wood stork stopped by to express how the noises scared her. Garbage littered once pristine places, including tires and sharp metal cans that could hurt the animals.

From a rumbling voice, Felina listened to the American crocodile's concern for polluted water; in turn, the fish were unhealthy to eat. Deer were being fed by humans, where human residences were built; and a Florida manatee, with its skin scarred from careless boat drivers, spoke to Felina about what humans should know.

Will Felina and her habitat friends find a new home, and how will they adapt to it? Loran Wlodarski - an award-winning author of If a Dolphin Were a Fish, Wild Careers!: Working with Animals, Sharks!: From Fear to Fascination, and Killer Whales: Creatures of Legend and Wonder - tells readers of wildlife concerns through their voices. Illustrator and graphic designer Lew Clayton used Prismacolor colored pencils in this picture book, and his love of his craft and of animals shows through his work.

The back of the book is filled with activities For Creative Minds, including Florida Panther Fun Facts; Florida Panther Life Cycle; Endangered and Threatened Animals, and Match the Animal Information. From Felina's story, children will learn of wildlife in many areas of the world, and how human changes affect their habitats. Children will also gain knowledge of ways they can help. Have fun reading about Felina and her friends!

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