A Passion for Elephants: The Real Life Adventure of Field Scientist Cynthia Moss

Toni Buzzeo, illus. by Holly Berry. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-18725-4

Buzzeo offers a glowing biography of Cynthia Moss, a field scientist and activist who has been studying and advocating for Africa’s elephants for more than 40 years. Moving briskly through Moss’s childhood love of animals, Buzzeo focuses on Moss’s long, hard work of studying elephants as well as her efforts to fight ivory poaching. Variations on a refrain (“It was a big challenge, but Cynthia Moss wasn’t afraid of big things”) strike an oddly juvenile note, given the harsh realities of the ivory trade and the book’s scientific focus, but it still drives home the message about taking on important, difficult tasks and causes. Berry’s mixed-media illustrations do an admirable job of capturing the African landscape—and animals—that have captivated Moss. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Stefanie Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary. Illustrator’s agency: Studio Goodwin Sturges. (Sept.)