A LEAP FOR LEGADEMA by Beverly Joubert


The True Story of a Little Leopard in a Big World
Age Range: 4 - 8
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Stunning color photographs and a lively, engaging text depict both the special bond between a mother leopard and her cub and how the cub learns to become independent.

This coming-of-age story about Legadema, meaning “light from the sky” in the Setswana language, takes place in Botswana’s lush Okavango Delta region. The Jouberts chronicle how the cub learns from her mother and from experience the skills she will need to survive on her own. One dramatic moment finds the cub encountering a pride of hungry lions and narrowly escaping by climbing a tree. The descriptive text is vividly evocative of Legadema’s world: “When crimson clouds blanketed the horizon and the forest came alive with a cacophony of animals and an orchestra of frogs that sounded like tiny bells, Legadema’s mother carried her cub in her mouth and settled into their sheltered den.” Beverly Joubert’s captivating photographs capture the cub at play, at rest, interacting with her mother, and hunting. The Jouberts explain in an afterword that they spent four and a half years living with Legadema. In addition to Legadema’s story is general information about leopards and a color map showing where they live in Africa.

An attractively designed, appealing, and informative story suitable for reading aloud or reading independently. (maps, photos) (Nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 6th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4263-2973-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2018


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