Moses: The True Story of an Elephant Baby

Jenny Perepeczko. S&S/Atheneum, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4424-9603-3
The founder of the Jumbo Foundation Elephant Orphanage in Malawi introduces the baby pachyderm that helped inspire her efforts in this insightful biography, filled with photographs and anecdotes. Moses, whose mother was killed by poachers, was rescued by rangers and brought to the Foundation. Perepeczko became Moses’s “human mama,” sleeping with him on a mattress on the floor each night and teaching him how to eat, splash, and play—grooming him for eventual release to the wild. Unlike some animal biographies, an omniscient narrator gives voice to Moses’s thoughts and feelings (“Goodie, he thought. Now I can see what is on all those shelves that Mama won’t let me put my nose into”). Combined with brief chapterlike sections that recount Moses’s various misadventures (sniffing a bottle of chili sauce, spraying Perepeczko’s new dress with mud), this light personification can make the elephant seem as much like a fictional picture book protagonist as a real-life animal. Information about elephants is scattered throughout the book in captions and gathered in the closing pages, along with a sad but even-keeled author’s note describing Moses’s unexpected death. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 08/26/2014
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 48 pages - 978-1-4424-9604-0
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