PANTHER by Martin Booth


Age Range: 10 - 12
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The thrill of the hunt propels two children into an unusual (to say the least) wildlife encounter on an isolated West Country moor, in this brief tale from the author of War Dog (1997). Left to their own devices on a fishing trip, nature enthusiasts Pati and Simon set out to explore the surrounding countryside in which, if local reports are to be believed, a panther roams. Pati, mad for leopards and other big cats, yearns for a sighting, not suspecting how quickly her wish is about to be granted—and in spades. Booth gives his young characters generous helpings of common sense and conscientious respect for the natural world, too. They pack the right supplies for a long hike, take proper safety precautions, and when they find not just one panther but an entire family, they resolve to keep the discovery, and the exciting pictures Pati takes, secret, knowing full well what would happen if this proof ever got out. The author doesn't even try to explain where the cats came from or how they could remain hidden in England, of all places, but there's enough wonder and satisfaction in the episode to still such questions. Appealingly short and absorbing. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-82976-0
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: McElderry
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2001


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