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Jubela Hardcover – March 1, 2001

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The Big Box of Bright and Early Board Books About Me
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Adapted for babies and toddlers from Dr. Seuss's Bright and Early book line, each of these books is filled with rhymes and clear, colorful illustrations. See more | More Seuss
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Baby rhino Jubela is content in his African home, rolling in the mud while his mother watches over him. But suddenly Jubela's world is shaken to its core when his mother is killed by poachers. Totally bewildered, the hungry and thirsty baby stays beside his dead mother in the hot sun, afraid to leave her, even for shade. It's not until the returning scent of man alerts Jubela that he ventures out on his own and ultimately finds an adoptive mother.

Based on the real-life experience of an orphaned rhino from Swaziland, Jubela is a heartbreaking--and heartwarming--story of the plight of rhinos, 97 percent of which have been lost to poachers over the last 30 years. Mali-based author Cristina Kessler makes a plea for increased awareness and dedication to protecting these ancient animals in her informative and shocking afterword. The story itself is simple and lyrical, with JoEllen McAllister Stammen's stunning pastel illustrations capturing the intense heat and beauty of an African savannah, as well as Jubela's agonizing situation. Parents who have already attempted to explain life's tragedies after reading about Babar's mother's death in The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant, be prepared for more poignant questions. (Ages 5 to 8) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

Mali-based writer and photographer Kessler takes the bare bones of a true story--based on an occurrence in Swaziland, as she explains in an afterword--and fleshes them out beautifully. Orphaned after a poacher shoots his mother, a baby rhino must survive alone on the African savanna until an older female adopts him. From lyrical descriptions ("sunlight surrendered to darkness") to vigorous passages ("his clumsy feet kicked stones aside as he thrashed through the thicket"), Kessler's prose effectively distills the drama of the events for a picture book audience and wins sympathy for the baby's plight without anthropomorphizing the animals involved. Stammen (If You Were Born a Kitten) bathes her spare but expansive pastel vistas in luxurious light, from the intense African noon that bleaches the color from the landscape, to the long, slanting rays of twilight and the purple and orange glory of a sunset. Her effective use of silhouetted images--the baby rhino alone in the darkness, for instance--underscores the poignancy of his situation. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile Measure: 440L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689818955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689818950
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,690,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian J. P. on September 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Rhinos are dying by the thousands every day due to illegal poaching in Africa and Indonesia. This book focuses on an African rhino. Rest assured that it is a very true story: the likelihood of a calf being orphaned due to poaching, and the way that older rhino females will "adopt" those orphans, describes actual rhino behavior. The most striking things about this particular book are the magnificent illustrations as well as the writing, which you could actually believe is the way a young baby rhino calf processes its world. The language is descriptive and earthy, simple and easy to grasp (good for young readers), and rich with texture and feeling. And as one of the editorial reviews notably points out, there is no anthropomorphizing here. Both author and illustrator play it straight and true.
Kids really need to know about this topic, and this haunting, hopeful book will help them realize what is going on in the world regarding humans and animals such as rhinos. Be prepared for questions such as, "Why did they kill the baby's mommy?" Such issues are not addressed here; Kessler is operating on a more visceral, non-polemical level. That is not to say the book lacks depth regarding the destruction of rhinos at human hands. Just be ready with the answers regarding poaching -- the "why" answers -- when you share this with children. If you need information, e-mail me or go to "Google" and just type in "rhinoceros" or "poaching." You'll find out all you need to know.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martha Hills on December 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Jubela will please young readers. The book begins with baby rhino Jubela playing in cooling mud and being lovingly cared for by his mother: "Just before sunlight surrendered to darkness, mother scraped the dry mud from baby's body with her great horn. Baby sighed with pleasure." When poachers take his mother's life, Jubela is alone and confused and hungry until an old mother rhino adopts him and teaches him how to survive. An author's note explains that Jubela is based on a true story that occurred in Swaziland. The illustrations, by JoEllen McAllister Stammen, are colorful and soft-edged and enhance this compassionate tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chanda on February 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This story not only gives an overview of African animals, it also tells a touching story of a rhino whose mother has been killed by poachers and is left to fend for himself. The pastel double-page spreads beautifully depict the story's mood. An excellent choice for public and personal libraries.
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