On Parade

The Hidden World of Animals in Entertainment
56p. 978-1-55455-143-9.
Gr 4—6—Laidlaw's goal in this heart-wrenching title is to inspire his audience to try to make the world a better place for animals. His description of the hard life of Jumbo, an unfortunate elephant, is cringe-worthy. Captured in Africa as a baby after his mother was killed, Jumbo was forced into performing for audiences in Europe and North America, before being killed in a train accident in Canada. Photographs of chained, caged, and tethered animals are disheartening. A leashed bear is shown performing on a bicycle. Dogfights, bullfighting, horse racing, etc., are detailed, and reprehensible breeding practices are mentioned. It would be a rare individual who would not come away from this book horrified by the suffering of these creatures. The title ends with suggested ways to help entertainment animals and a list of helpful organizations to contact. The cover, showing a circus elephant performing a stunt, seems adorable at first. After reading the book, it seems cruel. This is a difficult, important topic, and Laidlaw does a worthy job of bringing the suffering of these animals to light.—Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
Animal rights advocate Laidlaw exposes backstage conditions of animals in entertainment, from live animal shows to circus acts and movies. The admittedly agenda-driven text's examples of neglect and abuse combine with photographs and sidebars to underscore the message that animal lovers have an obligation--and the ability--to create change; suggestions for action, FAQs, and an "Organizations to Contact" list provide tools. Glos., ind.

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