In the tradition of La Fontaine, the animals in this fable speak out about species extinction: owls, foxes, butterflies... ten animals representing their species appear before the human high court to defend themselves. Only one of the ten will be saved. Which one will be considered deserving of preservation?
"A high-profile trial, watched by the whole world. The animals are called to the stand and, one by one, they explain why humans need to invest small fortunes to protect them. The questioning is lively and the animals very convincing. Which species should be preserved? This is the dilemma the readers have to consider in Le grand procès des animaux because they are to determine the outcome.
This original idea by Jean-Luc Porquet, journalist and ecology expert for Le Canard enchaîné, has seduced critics in France: "A fun ecology lesson" (France Inter), "which engenders wisdom and is a great book, both profound and light" (Libération) on a serious subject especially considering that half of the Earth’s species – about a million of them – could be extinct by 2100!
"An inspiring crash course in zoology"
The animals’ arguments, both funny and informative, allow the reader to learn a lot of surprising facts about the different species. For example, that swifts sleep while they fly? That the scales of the Orsini viper absorb solar energy and that the sandworm saves many human lives thanks to its hemoglobin capable of storing forty times more oxygen than that of humans. It is used to preserve kidney, heart and lung grafts.
The illustrations of Jacek Wozniak, known for his drawings published in Le Canard enchaîné, add to the book’s charm: "We decided to make it a beautifully crafted hard back book," explains Sophie Caillat, the founder of Éditions du Faubourg.
Rights have been sold in Korea (Booksea) and China (Guangcheng). "The Korean publisher has included this non-fiction work in a collection of books on the animal cause. Other publishers have thought of including it in their fiction or even children’s list, which illustrates how wide the potential readership is," says Deborah Druba, agent for Éditions du Faubourg a publisher which "addresses social issues with levity and often a good dose of humor", an editorial line in which Le grand procès des animaux fits perfectly.