The big party

CityPress - - Voices - HLENGIWE MNGUNI AND MOGOMOTSI (5) hlengiwe.mnguni@city­

The All Africa Wildlife Ex­press by Rosamund Haden, il­lus­trated by Tony Pinchuck

Tafel­berg 32 pages R179 at

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.

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