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by Tiffany Yap with illustrations from Meital Smith, 2023. Paperback, 144 pages.
For two young mountain lions born in central California, where cityscape meets wilderness, life isn't easy. Soon after their mother leaves them to fend for themselves, a dominant male puma attacks, sending them running. The brother who dashes across a treacherous highway is hit by a truck and killed. The brother who hides up a tree survives. And so the journey begins.
Tales of the Urban Wild: A Puma's Journeyfollows the lone brother, who local scientists tag as C-8, as he navigates what humans have done to the landscape.
Drawing from meticulous research, conservation scientist Tiffany Yap weaves together many diverse animal and human stories, celebrating the beauty and wonder of ecology, interconnectivity, and representation. With artist Meital Smith's spectacular illustrations in the rich gold and earth tones of central California, this debut graphic novel inspires and teaches us what it means to share and protect this earth together.
Perfect for all ages and aimed at budding naturalists ages 12-17.
Tiffany Yap is a conservation scientist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a doctorate in environmental science and engineering and has published studies in Science, EcoHealth, and other scientific journals. Her work has been featured in major news outlets, including the New York Times, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR.
Meital Smith is an illustrator and artist from Seattle, Washington. She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a BFA in Design in 2021 and is currently pursuing an MAT at the Rhode Island School of Design. Meital's work has appeared in The Lily, and in 2021, she self-published her graphic novella Yesh Lanu Machaneh, which documents her community's experiences at her beloved summer camp, Camp Miriam.