Breakfast in the Rainforest: A Visit with Mountain Gorillasby Richard Sobol, Leonardo DiCaprio
Powerful but shy, the African mountain gorilla struggles for survival in the rainforests of Uganda's national parks. Follow wildlife photographer Richard Sobol on an arduous journey to these hidden habitats and take a hushed, close-up look/b>
A photographer shares a rare glimpse of mountain gorillas in the wild — and inspires readers to help protect them.
Powerful but shy, the African mountain gorilla struggles for survival in the rainforests of Uganda's national parks. Follow wildlife photographer Richard Sobol on an arduous journey to these hidden habitats and take a hushed, close-up look at the gentle giants as they nibble on leaves for their morning meal. Striking photographs of the little-seen ritual remind us of the wonders of this dwindling species, while a first-person narrative describes the photographer's journey — and tells of efforts being made to preserve these magnificent creatures.
Sobol takes readers along on his journey to central Africa in search of mountain gorillas. As he prepares for his encounter, he shares what he has learned about this critically endangered species. He weaves facts about their daily lives and social structure into his account. His photos of the people and landscapes near Bwindi National Park reveal the close proximity of human fields and villages to the mountainous area where the 650 gorillas live. Guided by park rangers who strictly limit visitor access to the gorilla area, Sobol slips on muddy paths, crawls over logs, and battles dense brush to find the huge creatures eating their leafy breakfast. His photos and commentary offer insightful observations of old and young gorillas on the ground and in the trees. He explains the photography techniques he used to capture various images. War, diseases, poaching, and habitat loss threaten the mountain gorillas, which cannot survive in captivity. The naturalist's admiration for the animals and the people working to protect them provides a personal perspective, which complements other titles that offer more straightforward, factual presentations.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Wildlife photographer Sobol treks into Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to photograph critically endangered mountain gorillas. A map sets the stage and Sobol's first-person narrative makes clear the challenges facing those who would see this reclusive species. Only about 650 mountain gorillas are alive today, preserved in wilderness parks on the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There is a hefty fee for visitor permits; an hour with a gorilla family supports many of the other activities of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Sobol's photographs give readers an idea of the land and people he encounters on the bumpy eight-hour ride on mountain roads to the village near the park, and suggest his struggles through the forest. But the photo-album centerpiece of this chronicle is worth his effort: Mothers, children and impressive, full-grown silverback males stare out through the vegetation at the reader. Attractive design using a generic African pattern enhances the presentation. First in a planned Traveling Photographer series, this will delight armchair explorers and animal lovers. (Nonfiction. 8-12)
Meet the Author
Richard Sobol took the photographs that illustrate CONSTRUCTION ZONE by Cheryl Willis Hudson. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
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