Numerous full-color photographs ostensibly follow the life of one African elephant from her first day on Earth to her 15th birthday—with plenty of basic elephant facts in between.
“On a hot day in the African savannah, a baby elephant is born.” The initial sentence suitably trumpets its announcement with a bold, white “O” and the rest of the lettering in large black type. The text continues by interspersing the movements of this particular elephant—a female—with such facts as the weight of a typical newborn (“about 200 pounds”), the amount of time elapsing before baby’s first step (generally “a couple hours” after birth), and the ways in which elephants greet their babies and then protect them. Herd composition, social order, eating, drinking, and other habits, as well as, of course, facts about elephants’ trunks, are all covered in accessible language. There are at least six impressively large numbers incorporated into these facts, and none give a comparison to help young readers understand why those numbers are impressive. A child can readily compare their weight to a 200-pound baby elephant, but, for example, how do 50,000 muscles in a trunk compare with a human nose plus a hand? And what does 300 pounds of food look like? The stock photographs are beautiful and exciting—and often heartwarming—and the layout, in white-framed boxes with text against pastel backgrounds, is appealing.
A solid introduction to African elephants, with engaging photographs. (Informational picture book. 4-7)