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A Baby Elephant in the Wild Hardcover – March 18, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—In this account of a journey into the scrub desert of Namibia, readers meet a newborn elephant and her family. Children learn about Liza's early accomplishments: walking within hours, keeping up with the herd as they travel, and learning how to use her trunk and what is safe to eat. The animals walk 10 to 20 miles a day to find food, with the babies hidden behind their mothers or under them between their legs. This is a beautiful story told with care and compassion. It is obvious that the author has great respect for these animals and hopes to inspire that same feeling in her readers. The text is illustrated with beautiful photographs of elephants bathing, rolling in the mud, and moving from place to place, and there are wonderful pictures of Liza with her bright pink ears and underbelly-even her toenails are pink. A "Did you know?" section provides more facts about elephants, and a note explains how fortunate the author was to be able to witness an elephant birth in the wild. The book has plenty of factual information for reports and will be appreciated by animal lovers.—Cynde Suite, Bartow Cty. Lib. Syst., Adairsville, GA
Nicely illustrated with photographs, this book invites children to observe a family of elephants in the Namibian scrub desert over a period of months. The text and photos focus mainly on Liza, a newborn cared for by her mother, aunt, brother, cousin, and extended family members. O’Connell, the subject of The Elephant Scientist (2011), a volume in the Scientists in the Field series that she coauthored with Donna M. Jackson, discusses matters such as how elephants communicate, greet one another, feed their babies, and protect their young from lions. Printed in large type, the text is relatively short but informative. The crisply reproduced photos, taken in the field by O’Connell and her husband, Rodwell, illustrate points made about the family of elephants and their surroundings. Two appended pages provide additional facts about the African elephants’ dwindling habitat, “aquatic ancestry” and relatives, communication, teeth, and lives in captivity. A valuable addition to library collections on elephants. Grades K-3. --Carolyn Phelan