Little Bull: Growing up in Africa's Elephant Kingdom

Little Bull: Growing up in Africa's Elephant Kingdom

by Ellen James
     
 

He's one of the most endearing main characters in a story in many years--and he's rea! Come along and share his adventures. Through enchanting full-color photos, watch as this mischievous, playful, and innocent 250-pound baby elephant learns about the world around him. See him newly born, his big elephant ears wrapped tightly around him; struggling to his feet for the… See more details below

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Overview

He's one of the most endearing main characters in a story in many years--and he's rea! Come along and share his adventures. Through enchanting full-color photos, watch as this mischievous, playful, and innocent 250-pound baby elephant learns about the world around him. See him newly born, his big elephant ears wrapped tightly around him; struggling to his feet for the first time, prodded by his mother's wiggly trunk; stumbling and swaying on wobbly legs; and making friends with many of the members of Africa's animal kingdom. In a playground as wide as all outdoors, in a land of lush rolling hills and umbrella trees, Little Bull and his herd live and travel. Little Bull doesn't lack for affection.You'll meet the family who watches over him always--a loving mother, attentive aunts, and an older sister who becomes his self-appointed guardian--as well as the other baby elephants who play with him, wrestling in the mud, grabbing stones, and learning tricks. Early on, he becomes friends with a white egret who follows the herd--and he also learns to avoid the lions who regard him with glittering, hungry eyes. You're also there as the rains stop, and the grass and water slowly dry up. Follow the herd as they go on a journey across miles of land, searching desperately for food. The baby elephants struggle hard to keep up, and though the adults gently nudge them on, soon they weaken. But then one day, in the distance, thunder sounds. Dark clouds roll in, and the cool, fresh rains pour down and turn the earth green once more...And you'll rejoice as life returns to the savanna once again. With its simple and lyrical style, lush color photography, and design that echoes traditional African

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ammann sets his stunning photographs of a baby elephant against a backdrop of the Kenya plains. James's poetic text describes newborn Little Bull "wrapped like a cabbage in his big elephant ears," and follows his travels with his mother and their herd led by the matriarch, Grandmother Torn Ear. Readers follow Little Bull as he experiments with "his favorite toy,... his own wriggly trunk," chases egrets and encounters both benign curiosities and true perils ("zebras with wavy stripes" and a group of lionesses with "six bright eyes staring"). Although the passage of time is unclear (Little Bull seems to have been born during the rainy season, which is followed by a drought; he sprouts tusks by book's end), and some readers will wonder why Little Bull's father is so aloof ("He stood in the shadows all night long. By morning he was gone"), most will revel in the gorgeous pictures of the African wildlife. Based on a Discovery Channel film, James's text takes on a narrative rhythm, poignance and humor (toddlers will delight at the young elephant's attempts to stand on his head, for instance), and brings cohesion to Ammann's landscapes, portraits and action photographs. Except for one aberration--a hand-drawn picture illustrating the night sky's "bowl of bright stars"--this book stands as more than a mere adjunct to a film. Ages 5-up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
This very attractive book is based on "Africa's Elephant Kingdom," the first large-format film from Discovery Channel Pictures. James's text is gentle and spare, and places the reader squarely behind the 250 pound baby elephant as he stands, moves with the herd, and feels the joys and fears that are a part of the business of life. A lovely companion volume to a meticulously crafted film, or a readable book in its own right.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A photo story based on a film made by Discovery Channel Pictures. Just as the sun rises across the wide African sky, a baby elephant is born. Wrapped in his own huge, floppy ears, the 250-pound newborn struggles to his feet and joins his mother, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, sisters, and brothers. They will show him where to find water holes and sweet grass. His playground extends as far as he can see, but his favorite toy is right in front of him: his own wriggly trunk. Danger lurks everywhere. A cry from his grandmother quickly calls the others to protect him from a group of stalking lions. When the sun grows strong and the rains don't come, the elephants must walk for miles in search of food and water. Expansive two-page spreads capture the vastness of the African plains, the blistering sun, and the dramatic storms these animals experience. The simple but descriptive large-print text fleshes out the rich full-color photographs that document the life of one small elephant.-Lisa Wu Stowe, Great Neck Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Based on material from the upcoming TV film Africa's Elephant Kingdom, this book follows the birth and life of a baby African elephant, Little Bull, and members of his herd in the national parks in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Full-color photographs provide appealing close-ups of the 250-pound baby, his mother, cousin, and older members of the herd as they graze, endure a drought, wallow in the mud, play, and keep a watchful eye for hungry lions. The brief text is informative; the design is attractive, alternating framed photographs with full-bleed pictures that capture the sweep of the African sky. Included is a brief glossary of limited use, defining a crane as "a tall wading bird that lives in marshes and on plains" and an egret as "a small, white bird that has long legs, a long neck, and a slender body," even though cranes also have long necks and legs, and some egrets are tall. (index) (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780806920986
Publisher:
Sterling Publishing
Publication date:
12/31/1998
Series:
Discovery Kids Series
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
11.27(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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