Tano and Binti

Linda Davolls, Author, Andy Davolls, Author, Andy Davolls, Illustrator Clarion Books $14.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-395-68701-7
This debut picture book is based on a true story: in 1975, two chimpanzees raised at the London Zoo were introduced to a natural habitat in a protected area at the Gambian Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project. Chimp siblings Tano and Binti are first seen peering out of a slatted wooden crate at their new home in the African forest. The curious and playful newcomers, ``who will need to learn many new skills to survive,'' are saved by Amber, a senior chimp who teaches them a welcome wagon's worth of forest ways. Soon they can build tree nests, fish termites from their mounds, drink at the stream, hammer open nuts and fruit pods with stones. After tutoring the chimps, Amber disappears--only to return a year later with a baby and a mate. Andy Davolls's realistic pastels, in dusty, natural tints, afford an eye-level view of the chimps. The documentary-like effect gets an added boost from the format, featuring full-bleed illustrations on oversized pages. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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