Safari: A Photicular Book

Safari: A Photicular Book

4.5 4
by Dan Kainen

A New York Times bestseller, Safari takes readers on a magical journey through the African wilderness. Each full-color, moving image brings an animal to life using Photicular technology and is accompanied by a lively, informative essay.See more details below


A New York Times bestseller, Safari takes readers on a magical journey through the African wilderness. Each full-color, moving image brings an animal to life using Photicular technology and is accompanied by a lively, informative essay.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lenticular technology takes a big leap forward with this virtual safari that highlights eight African animals. Triggered by page turns, Kainen's animated images are akin to those in Rufus Butler Seder's Scanimation titles, but even more remarkable in their realism; watching a western lowland gorilla chew or a Thomson's gazelle leap isn't all that different from watching a clip of a nature film (or at least an animated gif). Kaufmann opens the book with a recounting of a safari to Kenya's Masai Mara reserve; it reads as adult ("As the sun settles into the savanna, we... watch the long silhouettes of giraffes while sipping a hearty Cabernet Sauvignon"), but both the information contained there and in the profiles of the eight animals will fascinate young readers. As will Kainen's animations, of course. All ages. (Oct.)
PW magazine

“Lenticular technology takes a big leap forward with this virtual safari.”

PW magazine

Entertainment Weekly
“Lenticular technology takes a big leap forward with this virtual safari.”

PW magazine

Audubon magazine
“Shots of cheetahs, rhinos, and gazelles spring to life as the pages turn.”

Entertainment Weekly

From the Publisher
“An imaginative interpretation of the real thing.”

Audubon magazine

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
While this book will have some appeal to young readers it really is not a "kids" book. The text is extremely dense and presented from an adult viewpoint. It tells the story of the technique used to create the images as well as that of an actual safari. Dan Kainen relates to readers that the techniques of Photicular imaging is an old technology which is done in a new way. The result is pictures or images that have movement and he notes that the beauty of an animal moving has always fascinated him. Carol Kaufman tells of her adventure in Masai Mara, Kenya, a large national reserve along the Tanzanian border. It opens with her plane landing on the bare ground right next to a two story tall giraffe that is not about to move. Then the adventure begins with their guide Massek, ferrying the tour group in a Land Cruiser to their camp site. The description of the camp lets readers know that this is not your basic sleep on the group in a bedroll type of trip, but rather a first class adventure with real beds and excellent shower facilities. In case readers did not know, they will learn that safari is the Swahili word for journey. The group encounters some amazing animals on their trip—more giraffes, zebras, gazelles, lions, hippos, crocodiles, cheetah, buffalo, leopards, and many more. The text is peppered with black and white drawings of some of the animals and then the special photicular images begin to appear accompanied by a detailed text about the featured animal—a racing lion, a gorilla munching on a blade of grass, a rhino running across the plain, a baby zebra trotting in the grassland, an elephant flapping its ears, a nimble gazelle racing from a predator, and finally the giraffe strolling along. The final illustration brings the story full circle and to a successful close. This books will attract young readers, but it is also a wonderful gift for a person of any age heading out on a safari. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot

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Product Details

Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 8.30(h) x 2.00(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

Dan Kainen
My grandfather was an inventor, my father was an artist, and as a boy, I loved performing magic. So I like to think that these Photicular images are a direct result of generational influences, merging innovation, art, and magic.
Photicular imaging is an old technology—“lenticular,” or “integrated” photography, done in a new way. Individual video frames are sliced into very thin, adjacent strips to create one master-image. On its own, it just looks blurry, as if all the images were overlapped, but slide a sheet of thin lenses over the master-image—and it comes alive in fluid, film-like motion.
The beauty of an animal moving is another kind of magic that has fascinated me since childhood: the thrilling grace of a cheetah as it streaks across the grassland, the incongruous gentleness of a fierce-looking silverback gorilla quietly chewing plants, or the delicate gait of a young zebra trotting across the savanna. (The Jungle Book and Man-Eaters of Kumaon were early favorites.) As Carol Kaufmann recounts in her essay, which opens this book, there is nothing more powerful than watching an animal in its natural habitat. That’s why a safari seemed like a natural fit for the first Photicular book. For those unable to make the trip to Africa, I offer these images as a glimpse into the thrill of a safari and the astonishing sight of an animal in motion.
Carol Kaufmann

As the 10-seater plane approaches the dirt landing strip in the northwest corner of Masai Mara, Kenya’s 583-square-mile national reserve along the Tanzanian border, a giraffe is waiting. The plane touches down, rolls closer, but the giraffe—a big male about two stories tall—doesn’t move. He simply stares at the plane as the pilot veers to avoid him. A jolt comes not only from the rough landing on the bare earth, but from the shock of seeing that first animal in the wild, and at such close range.
Another surprise: refreshments on arrival, arrayed on a red tablecloth. The crew from our camp is there to greet us. “Welcome to the Mara!” says Milka our hostess, her white smile brilliant. “Champagne?” Not just yet. The small-plane flight and giraffe standoff have left me unsure of my footing. Salty banana chips prove soothing.
Milka introduces us to our guide, James, a quiet, dignified man in his 30s, dressed neatly in a pressed khaki collared shirt and shorts. He’s a Maasai, and his village stands atop an escarpment that borders one side of the Mara. His face is polished ebony, his voice soft and steady, his English lilting, lyrical. His kind eyes make me feel safe, happy. We learn that James is his Christian name. Maasai choose one for themselves when they go to school. His given name is Massek, he tells us. We begin to call him that instead. This makes him smile.
Massek helps us into an olive-colored Land Cruiser, a rugged-looking vehicle with no doors or windows. Thick metal roll bars hold up a canvas. Plump tsetse flies stick to the roof above my head. I hit the canvas and they fly off. Who knows if they’re carriers for the sleeping sickness. In spite of the inoculations I got before traveling here—six shots in total—nothing will prevent that dreaded disease.
Massek takes off along the bumpy road. More like a country lane, it’s dirt, dotted with jagged rocks and large, smooth stones. The deep potholes and crevices, left over from the rains, cause us to jiggle and jostle. First timers clutch the thick poles. Will the combination of jet lag, caffeine, motion sickness, and malaria pills require us to pull over?
Thankfully not.
How could it? Every sense is so completely engaged and overstimulated, curiosity operating on overdrive, that my brain doesn’t have time to notice something might be wrong inside.
En route to camp, we hear of a leopard spotting. A glimpse of the secretive leopard is a prize, even for seasoned guides. The cat, nearly invisible in the dappled afternoon light, picks the moment we drive up to emerge from beneath a bush. He walks in front of the vehicle and, for just a moment, stares into our faces before running off, out of sight.
Even Massek is visibly excited. He tells us this chance sighting portends good things for the journey. We haven’t even checked into our room.
Tent, rather. We arrive at camp and are led to a living room–size, thick canvas tent on a platform built about a foot off the ground. Inside, the beds are actual beds—not cots or sleeping bags—and are covered with soft cotton sheets and thick, white duvets. The walk-in slate-lined shower contains soaps, sugar scrubs, and shampoos laced with herbs. Large bottles of mineral water stand ready on the double-sink vanity. Beyond the zipped-up mosquito netting, we have a private patio complete with leather club chairs that look out onto the savanna. Commuter traffic and busy sidewalks lined with rectangular buildings seem very far away.

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What People are saying about this

bestselling author of Unlikely Friendships Jennifer Holand

“AMAZING! The safari comes to life with each turn of the page.”

—Jennifer Holand, bestselling author ofUnlikely Friendships

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