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JUMBO by Rhoda Blumberg


by Rhoda Blumberg, illustrated by Jonathan Hunt

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1992
ISBN: 0-02-711683-2

 Under the loving care of his longtime keeper Matthew Scott, the scrawny, neglected Jumbo (a name chosen as sounding vaguely African) grew to be ``the largest animal in captivity in the entire world,'' a celebrity on two continents. In an afterword, Blumberg describes the difficulty of winkling historical fact out of P. T. Barnum's ``humbug''; but her brief, dramatic narrative expertly brings both the public hoopla and the close relationship between Scott and his charge to life. Though some of Hunt's smaller watercolors seem like filler (``Queen Victoria was upset''), in larger scenes the wrinkled pachyderm looms hugely but peaceably over clusters of people in period dress, effectively capturing the mood and times. Since Blumberg relegates Jumbo's early death and Scott's subsequent decline to an appended note in smaller type, the tale ends rather abruptly; still, introductory history at its best: coherent, penetrating, lively. Bibliography. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 8-11)