The big party
The All Africa Wildlife Express by Rosamund Haden, illustrated by Tony Pinchuck
Tafelberg 32 pages R179 at takealot.com
There’s a train in it. That’s one of the top reasons Mogomotsi, my son, gave for why he liked The All Africa Wildlife Express. Second were the animals, which he proudly named every time we read the book, or when he flipped through the beautifully illustrated pages on his own.
In this story, the reader is taken on a train ride – packed with wildlife – across the continent to the Hotel Splendide, where the hosts with the most, the monkeys, have put together a party to make any party planner proud. With its realistic illustrations, this book is a great way to introduce young children to the animals commonly found in Africa. But, if your child has learnt the difference between a cheetah and a leopard or a baboon and a monkey, perhaps they, like Mogomotsi, will enjoy showing off just how much they already know.
There aren’t many moral lessons or surprises, but the illustrations more than make up for this. And maybe at almost six Mogomotsi is a bit too old for the book, but even he, who thought he knew them all, added a new animal to his list: a gnu.