________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 16. . . . April 11, 2003

cover Baby Lion. (Nature Babies).

Aubrey Lang. Photography by Wayne Lynch.
Toronto, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2002.
36 p., pbk. & cl., $7.95 (pbk.), $15.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55041-713-4 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55041-711-8 (cl.).

Subject Heading:
Lions-Infancy-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Lisa O'Hara.

**** /4

 

cover Baby Elephant. (Nature Babies).

Aubrey Lang. Photography by Wayne Lynch.
Toronto, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2002.
36 p., pbk. & cl., $7.95 (pbk.), $15.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55041-717-7 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55041-715-0 (cl.).

Subject Heading:
Elephants-Infancy-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Lisa O'Hara.

**** /4

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Both Baby Lion and Baby Elephant are part of the "Nature Babies" series meant to introduce children to animals in the wild by describing the first year of a baby animal's life. The books are illustrated with photos of the animals taken in the wild. Because baby animals are generally favorites of girls and any animals seem to be of interest to boys, these books should appeal to both sexes. Each book contains a table of contents and an index, as well as a "Did You Know?" fact section at the end of the book. A"Before You Begin" section gives information about the writing of the book and about the author's and photographer's interactions with the animals. This section may answer some of the questions children will ask (such as how they got close to the animals and where did they live?) and is a great idea. The inclusion of all of these components of nonfiction works is a good introduction for children in this age group.

     In Baby Lion, Lang and Lynch follow a pride of lions during a drought when food is scarce. The book is jam packed with facts about lions, including the functions of each group of lions in the pride (the lionesses hunt, the lions protect the pride, the male yearlings are driven away, etc.), how the babies grow up, how and where they hunt for food, who takes care of the young and much more. It is written in a manner suitable for children:

A mother lion leaves the pride when she is ready to have her babies. She searches for some bushes or tall grass where she can be alone to hide her new cubs. Even before the cubs can open their eyes, they find their mother's milk. The cubs are always hungry and never want to stop nursing.

After a week, when their eyes open, the cubs begin to explore.

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     The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs of the lion pride. Bright and varied, these photographs illustrate the actions of the lions being described in the text.

     Baby Elephant is very similar with Lang and Lynch following an elephant herd for the first year of the baby elephant's life. Again, the text is easy for children to comprehend:


One day when the family is feeding in the marsh, they meet a herd of shaggy waterbucks. Even though waterbucks are not dangerous, when they are nearby, the elephants are nervous. But the baby elephant's big brother is not afraid of the waterbucks. He shakes his head, flaps his ears, and chases them away.

     This section is accompanied by a series of four photos, similar to stills from a motion picture, which illustrate the big brother elephant's actions.

     Both of these books are well-written, and the photographs are excellent and will be sure to hold a child's attention. There is generally a full-page illustration opposite every page of text, with some smaller pictures on the text pages. These books will satisfy children's curiosity about animals and provide them with facts that they might not know. I think that these books are an excellent choice for children in this age range.

Highly Recommended.

Lisa O'Hara is a librarian and mother of three in Winnipeg, MB.

 

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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