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Natumi Takes the Lead: The True Story of an Orphan Elephant Who Finds Family Hardcover – November 8, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Set on the "African savanna" (the back matter clarifies that the location is Kenya), this is the true story of a baby elephant named Natumi who is separated from her herd when her mother is shot and killed. A kind farmer rescues her and takes her to an elephant orphanage. There, shy Natumi hides behind her keepers' legs and is cared for and raised along with seven other orphan elephants. Over the years, the eight "elies" grow and form a family of their own. Kids will have already gleaned from the title that Natumi will be the leader of this new herd, but the tale is nonetheless enjoyable. While the text is light on details, the back matter is quite extensive, including a map of Natumi's home (in Kenya) and where elephants live in Africa, a "Facts About Elephants" section, a paragraph about the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (the orphanage), a note on how the design of the book was inspired by the area and "local cultures," and more. VERDICT A fine addition to collections to inspire and teach young readers about African elephants and conservation efforts.—Megan Kilgallen, Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn
"Glossy, high-definition photos of the baby elephants growing up, playing in the mud, and snuggling with their keepers are beyond adorable, and extensive endnotes add extra information about African elephants and wildlife centers.... The narrative glosses over the events that left Natumi parentless—although the back matter mentions the problems of poaching—making this tale of confidence and family suitable for even younger readers." -- Booklist
"His clear images will help readers visualize their daily routine: bottle feedings, bathing in mud puddles, and both soothing and playful activities with their human keepers…. Pleasing photographs with a slight story to encourage aspiring animal rescuers." -- Kirkus