Baby animals are a traditional favorite with this age group, and a baby elephant is a sure-fire attraction. M'Toto is initially endearing as his surroundings and bumbling ways are described with convincing authenticity. With age, however, he starts thinking and talking like a not-so-convincing human, and by the end of the book even the actions of the animals have lost their reality -- a dik-dik warns the herd of a forest fire, then perches on the head of the king elephant to spot out the directions of the flames. Later the dik-dik is injured, but M'Toto is determined to stay loyal to his friend... The black and white wash drawings are in the vein of the more natural parts of the story, showing excellent views of the jungle beasts in motion.