Among the world’s most amazing creatures are the whales. In Why Are Whales Vanishing?, Isaac Asimov tells about these giants of the oceans, why they are in danger, and how we can help them survive.

For general information on the “Ask Isaac Asimov” series, see What Is a Shooting Star?

On the whole, the environmental books in the “Ask Isaac Asimov” series fare better with me than the astronomical books; perhaps this is because Asimov doesn’t cover environmental issues elsewhere for young children except in the relatively obscure Earth: Our Crowded Spaceship. As a result, I’m a bit less resentful of the incredible cost of this particular book and actually enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend it to an elementary school student with an interest in the subject.

Still, this book ends up being a bit disappointing somehow. It’s description of the advances in whaling are interesting, but somehow one ends the book with a vague uncertainty as to why the one-fifth the whale population killed by humans is a serious problem. (Yes, I know the answer; Asimov just doesn’t point it out in the book.) It isn’t one of the best entries in the series.

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