This story of eight-year-old Picken of Africa and his jungle ""vacation"" down the river is a captivating one. In the first place there is the jungle- of deep treacherous quiets as well as the thousands of little screams and chatterings when the red sun explodes from the east. And Picken, boy of the Mandingo tribe and son of the village chief, travels down the great river alone with his new pet, the monkey Benjii. Not only does Picken escape the attacks of a bush-cat and a deadly snake but also returns to his village a hero, because of his recovery of the bracelet which had been stolen from a neighboring chief. An absorbing action story and regional study, this book has adventure and plot enough for an eight or nine year old, but the format and ""fairy tale"" aura of the tale marks it for a younger group. Stunning decorations by Winslade in brown and ebony.