Meet a Baby Elephant

9781467779760. ea vol: 32p. (Lightning Bolt Books: Baby African Animals). chart. ebook available. further reading. glossary. index. maps. photos. Lerner. 2015. lib. ed. $26.65.
K-Gr 2—Each volume opens with the birth of an African animal and concludes with a mature animal. In between, topical chapters focus on diet, development, and habitat, muddling the progression of ages and stages. Overall, the writing is uneven, with awkward phrasing and grammar. Layout and color choices follow the format of this ongoing series. The photos miss opportunities to support the text: the books include almost exclusively full-body shots of the animals rather than close-ups. Elephants includes images of Asian elephants at least twice but never clarifies that there are two species. The African continent is mentioned only in the range map at the end of each title. Back matter includes "Habitat in Focus" and "Fun Facts" pages, which largely repeat information found earlier.
VERDICT Readers may find these offerings confusing.
Each book begins with the birth of an African animal and then describes its growth and development, behaviors, diet, and physical characteristics. The writing is often choppy, size comparisons can be odd (e.g., 2.5 ounces "is about as much as fourteen nickels"), and important facts are omitted. The stock baby animal photos on brightly colored backgrounds will draw readers in, though. There are three other fall 2015 books in this series. Reading list, websites. Glos., ind. Review covers these Lightning Bolt Books: Baby African Animals titles: Meet a Baby Elephant, Meet a Baby Giraffe, Meet a Baby Lemur, Meet a Baby Zebra, and Meet a Baby Chimpanzee.

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