In a world where we usually measure animals by human standards, prize-winning author and MacArthur Fellow Carl Safina takes us inside their lives and minds, witnessing their profound capacity for perception, thought and emotion, showing why the word “it” is often inappropriate as we discover “who” they really are. In 2019, Carl created a two-part book series for young readers, the first title in which is called Beyond Words: What elephants and whales think and feel
Weaving decades of observations of actual families of free-living creatures with new discoveries about brain functioning, Carl Safina’s narrative breaches many commonly held boundaries between humans and other animals. In Beyond Words, readers travel the wilds of Africa to visit some of the last great elephant gatherings, then follow wolves of Yellowstone National Park sort out the aftermath of their personal tragedy, then plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in waters of the Pacific Northwest. We spend quality time, too, with dogs and falcons and ravens; and consider how the human mind originated.
In his wise and passionate book, Safina delivers a graceful examination of how animals truly think and feel, which calls to question what really does—and what should—make us human.
In 2019, Carl adapted Beyond Words into a two-part hardcover and e-book series for young readers. The first book is titled Beyond Words: What elephants and whales think and feel. It has several starred reviews and spent weeks at Amazon’s best-seller list for kids’ books about animals.
Kirkus Reviews calls it “a winning mixture of reverence, wonder, and even playfulness. A must for middle-grade animal lovers.” Publisher’s Weekly asserts: “This excellent, documentary-style account will captivate budding animal behavioral scientists.”