A familiar text is adapted to use in an unfamiliar environment with happy results.
Old Mikamba’s game farm includes a host of animals from the African plains, including baboons, elephants and cheetahs. After the traditional e-i-e-i-o, the baboon cavorts and says, “ooh-ha-ha.” The elephant snorts, “baraaa-baraaa,” and the cheetah makes a “grrrr-grrrr” sound. It’s hardly a revolutionary formula, but the combination of the known and the unknown (Isadora introduces springboks and wildebeests), the amusing noises that each animal makes, and the exuberant collages incorporating woven fabrics, newsprint, and other materials all make for a winning strategy. Mikamba’s child helpers on the game farm appear from time to time, but the animals take center stage. Tidbits of information about the animals are presented at the end, but their ranges are omitted. Although these animals can be found in different parts of Africa, the game-park setting allows all of them to be found together.
From dawn to dusk, as represented in the handsomely painted endpapers, young children will want to visit this farm and “grunt-grunt” with the hippos and “chirp-chirp” with the ostriches. (Picture book. 3-6)