Synopses & Reviews
In The Rarest of the Rare, Ackerman sets off on journeys that lead to, among other places, the habitats of the golden lion tamarind in the rain forests of Brazil, the monk seals of the Pacific's French Frigate Shoals, and the endearing short-tailed albatross on an almost inaccessible island off Japan, as well as the vital but threatened layover sites of the vastly traveled monarch butterfly. She weaves together her own poetic observations of such invaluable creatures and landscapes with the informed, entertaining, and sometimes quirky or compulsive voices of the men and women who know them best. The result is a book that broadens our horizons by carrying us across them. It sings to us in the voice of that uncommon bird herself, Diane Ackerman.
"Engrossing reading for amateur naturalists." Library Journal
Ackerman journeys in search of monarch butterflies and short-tailed albatrosses, monk seals and golden lion tamarin monkeys: the world's rarest creatures and their vanishing habitats. She delivers a rapturous celebration of other species that is also a warning to our own. Traveling from the Amazon rain forest to a forbidding island off the coast of Japan, enduring everything from broken ribs to a beating by an irate seal, Ackerman reveals her subjects in all their splendid particularity. She shows us how they feed, mate, and migrate. She eavesdrops on their class and courtship dances. She pays tribute to the men and women hwo have deoted their lives to saving them.