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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a mesmerizing story of how Caitlin O'Connell learned just how elephants communicate with one another ..., March 18, 2012
This review is from: The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) (Hardcover)
Caitlin O'Connell was one of those children who loved animals and enjoyed watching them. Although she could have easily observed the behaviors of her goat and its two kids, Caitlin was more captivated by frogs. When it came time to head off to college, she had considered premed, but the natural world was on her mind. She later claimed "While I was fascinated by medicine, I was more interested in animal behavior and the world of field biology." Caitlin was going to be an etymologist. Her unusual interest in the planthopper and its communication patterns would lead her to discover something amazing about elephants.

As luck would have it, Caitlin was offered the opportunity to study elephants in their natural habitat. She would be living and working in Africa, but little did she know the importance that time would offer us in our understanding of these magnificent animals. It all began when she, and her future husband, Dr. Tim Rodwell, were offered "a three-year job studying elephant movements, habitat, behavior, an interactions with people." In Caprivi, Namibia people were having problems with the elephants. Caitlin later remarked, "they'll eat a whole year's worth of a family's food in a single night." It was becoming an urgent situation.

The scientists were at a loss when they first began studying the elephants because they didn't know quite where to begin. Something had to be done because people needed their crops, but elephants needed to roam and to eat. The battle was ongoing and it wasn't a pleasant one, especially when the farmers retaliated. Caitlin, who had studied how insects and animals communicate, decided to approach it from that standpoint. Just how did they communicate and could she somehow "tell" them to keep away from those crops? One day as she watched "the huge mammals stopping in their tracks and leaning forward on their front feet," she had a thought. Could they actually listen and talk through their feet and how could she prove it?

This is a mesmerizing story of how Caitlin O'Connell learned just how elephants communicate with one another. Not unlike many other scientists, part of her discovery came from luck, but also from applying her innate skills to her work. This gifted scientist makes the world of elephants come alive in this book, alive like no other children's book has done in this realm. The layout is superb with it stunning photography of the elephants. For example, one illustrates how an adolescent bull bonds with an adult one. The dialogue shifts back and forth between Caitlin's amazing discoveries to one that tells us what elephants are all about. In the back of the book is an index, a glossary (Pachyderm Terms), source notes, and additional recommended book, DVD, and website resources to explore. This is a Junior Library Guild Selection, a definite must have for your shelves!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trunks and Ears and Tusks Oh My!, November 25, 2012
This review is from: The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) (Hardcover)
When I first picked up this book at the library I did not think I would enjoy it as much as I did. Although it is very informational it is very interesting. The photography is superb! It makes you feel as if you are actually in Africa watching the elephants. The layout of the book is very easy to follow. From the random facts on different pages to the main text to the glossary that is found in the back it is full of interesting information. Who would have ever known elephants listen through their feet or handshake with their trunks. From elephant's anatomy to an elephant's mother instincts it can all be found in this book. It is a must have for a middle school classroom. Whether you are interested in elephants or not it is a great read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informational and entertaining!, November 28, 2012
This review is from: The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) (Hardcover)
The Elephant Scientist is an informational picture book that inspires children and adults alike. It tells the story of a scientists that follows the elephants to learn more about their behavior and communication. Elephants live in a matriarch society and stay together. Perhaps the most interesting fact found in the book is that the elephants communicate through vibrations in their limbs. There is still so much to learn about these majestic creatures and I enjoyed very much reading these interesting facts. While I believe it is a bit long and wordy to be used in an early elementary classroom, the information found in the book can be used to enhance anyone's knowledge about elephants in their natural habitat.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a must read on elephants, September 20, 2012
This review is from: The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) (Hardcover)
The Elephant Scientist is a great book foretelling much information on elephants and their habitat. The authors Caitlin O'Connell and Donna M. Jackson did a wonderful job providing information about elephants in Namibia, Africa. Let's not forget Timothy Rodwell and Caitlin herself who captured wonderful pictures of these amazing mammals. The photos made it seem as if you were actually there and have an alive-like kind of feature. I, myself have learned some new information and terminology about elephants. This would be a great book for people who are fascinated by elephants and a must have for educators to keep. This would go great to follow up on a lesson, starting a new one, or simply just in the library center. I love the fact how this book includes glossary terms that way in case you didn't understand a word in the text you can look it up in the back. It also included source notes which can be very helpful as well. Overall, it was an informative book that captures readers to learn about elephants.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life as an Elephant, June 2, 2012
This review is from: The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) (Hardcover)
I was unsure if I was going to be interested or focused when reading this book. The complete opposite came to life when I opened it and did a book walk. The photos in the book are so vivid, clear, and beautiful to look at that I found myself bringing the book closer to see everything about it. O'Connell and Rodwell took amazing pictures allowing one to imagine themselves next to the photographers. I found myself looking at the detail of many pictures especially of the elephant skin and would have never known the importance of all their wrinkles. Unlike many people who try to get rid of wrinkles, I'm sure elephants hope for more. This book discusses how they settle into a new area to showing that elephants do have good memory.

Not only is this book very informative of how an elephant lives but also demonstrates the research process to learn more about this interesting mammal. This is a perfect book to add to a library when both learning the process of researching a topic and learning about lives of animals such as elephants. Authors O'Connell and Jackson did an outstanding job in keeping the readers engaged throughout the book with their details and learned knowledge.

I liked the layout of the book which can be easily read and understood by many if not most children who are fluent readers. The authors included a glossary (Pachyderm terms) to help children with words that may not have been understood. As I have already mentioned, this is a great book to keep in one's home or school library especially when learning about this interesting animal.
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4.0 out of 5 stars All About Elephants...Not Entirely, June 1, 2012
This review is from: The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) (Hardcover)
When I first looked at this book I thought it was all about elephants but I soon found out that it was about much, much more. This book is really about the author and how she got to work with elephants. Not only did I learn about elephants but I also learned a little bit about frogs and planthoppers. These were some other living things that she got a change to study. While reading this book I found out so many fun facts about elephants, like how much they weigh when they are born, how fast they can run, what they use their trunks for, and so much more. I even found out that they can feel vibrations through their feet. The pictures in the book are so amazing I would love to go to Africa just to watch the elephant's roam around. I am glad I had a chance to read this book because I learned so many interesting facts about how elephants live and eat. This book is great for children of all ages and even adults. I would recommend that everyone should read this book. This book was awarded the Sibert Award.
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5.0 out of 5 stars All about Elephants, May 29, 2012
This review is from: The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) (Hardcover)
This is an intriguing book about elephants in Africa. The illustrator uses many colorful photos to capture the eye of the reader. After being sent to Africa, Caitlin O'Connell discovers the world of elephants and is fascinated by their habitat. Anyone who is interested in the life of elephants would surely enjoy this book. The author writes this story telling her readers all about elephants in an extraordinary way. I took pleasure in reading this picture book and recommend it for any age.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into the life of the Elephant Scientist, May 20, 2012
This review is from: The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) (Hardcover)
I began to browse through the photography which engaged me to choose this book. There are over 70 pages of pictures that are sure to appeal to most readers. I believe this raw informational book is appropriate to be given to a young future scientist in order to perceive how a biologist does the field work during research about elephants. The Elephant Scientist was well organized with a table of contents, text captions about the photographs, a glossary feature for new terminology. The book was recognized for its excellent photographs, and how it distinguished the scientists daily work in Africa.
Elephants are interesting mammals to study because they are so intelligent in a more complex behaviors, as scientist study how they manage to migrate in large groups. These large mammals are vegetarians, but are able to survive by eating on tons of fruits, grasses, shrubs, or sometimes uprooting trees since they eat so much from the branches.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Future Elephant Scientist's Read, November 25, 2012
I am an animal lover and have always found elephants to be particularly interesting so this book was perfect for me. The Elephant Scientist is filled with detailed pictures that really make you take a good look at elephants and help the reader see what the scientists see. They make you feel like you are actually in Africa! This book is informational and teaches both about elephants themselves as well as the research process that scientists go through to find the information. This is definitely a book that should not be judged by its cover. I must admit, I did so at first and thought it would be dry, but I only fell more in love with the elephant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, September 10, 2014
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This review is from: The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) (Hardcover)
Good story and photos. Good for inspiring girls especially to go into science.
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The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series)
The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) by Donna M. Jackson (Hardcover - July 11, 2011)
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