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THE HUNTER by Paul Geraghty


by Paul Geraghty & illustrated by Paul Geraghty

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-517-59692-X
Publisher: Crown

 Accompanying her grandfather to find honey in the bush, Jamina is so busy pretending to be a hunter shooting elephants that she wanders off and gets lost. The little girl has been forbidden to go into the bush alone; still, she follows a mournful sound and finds a baby elephant with its dead mother, shot by poachers. The two make their way together; Jamina has been taught that she can follow the herds to the river, where her home will be on the other side, but crocodiles keep her from crossing. In the night, a herd of elephants takes in the little one, and by the time Jamina's mother finds her in the morning the child knows she'll never be a hunter. The story is obviously contrived to convey its message, but the clean, taut narrative holds attention with the appealing partnership between child and elephant and with their encounters with African animals, including that most dangerous predator, man (at one point, the child and elephant must hide from poachers). Geraghty's illustrations are outstanding, with beautifully observed animals, gorgeous landscapes, and sleek, precisely modeled figures. A satisfying (if implausible) adventure. (Picture book. 4-9)