Elephant Crossing

Toshi Yoshida, Author Philomel Books $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-21745-6
In this sequel to Young Lions , Yoshida returns to East Africa to observe a herd of elephants crossing the parched plain. When the herd encounters prowling lions and frightened zebras, great-grandmother elephant charges to protect the younger ones. When she herself was small, her family group was forced to flee a mob of omnivorous desert grasshoppers. The elephants resettled in the lush, peaceful forest where they continue to dwell. The sketchy plot line places this book in the nether regions between fiction and nonfiction. Yoshida's illustrations are stunning and varied; his use of color pencil on textured paper replicates the skin of an elephant, the motions of grasshoppers and the shimmering heat on the plain. A vertical double-page spread of the elephant charging the retreating lions is awe-inspiring, suggesting thundering feet and billowing dust clouds. Whether read as fact or fiction, this natural history book is quite appealing. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
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