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Children's LiteratureThis is part of a series produced in collaboration with the Animal Planet television show, The Jeff Corwin Experience. Jeff Corwin may indeed, as the publisher's blurb says, possess "enthusiasm for nature combined with...fun-loving personality." What this book exemplifies, however, is merely a quest for the bizarre and outrageous. True, some beautiful creatures inhabit these pages—vine snakes, elephants, cobras, and dromedaries. The section on crocodiles and their habitat contains interesting information, as well as speculation about the future of these endangered reptiles. But the book leaves an overwhelming feeling of exoticizing both the setting and the peoples of the subcontinent. It seems to offer a sort of contemporary voyeurism about customs presumed to be unfamiliar, and leaves the reader with something of a "gee-whiz" effect that does not lead to real understanding. The material is superficial at best, and hardly conducive to the kind of inquiry successful teachers foster in their classrooms. As an introduction to the wildlife of India, it disappoints. 2004, Blackbirch Press, Ages 7 to 10.