NONFICTION

The Magnificent Migration: On Safari with Africa’s Last Great Herds

HMH. Jun. 2019. 176p. bibliog. index. photos. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780544761131.
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Gr 6 Up–This diary-like narrative immerses young people in the migration of wildebeest herds and the process of tracking them. Conversations among the safari team give the book a personalized feel that draws readers into the adventure. Wildebeests’ bodies are designed for a life on the move, and close-ups of this most numerous of all the African antelopes show why the wildebeest is often described in unflattering terms—“goat-like beard, cow-like horns, and horse-like mane, it must have been made out of spare parts.” Nevertheless, they manage to establish territories, mate, give birth, and care for their calves without staying anywhere for long in their seasonal cycle of following food and water. Colorful maps show their migration trail through Kenya and Tanzania and the path of the safari tracking them. Beginning with full-color endpapers of wildebeests gathering and grazing on the Serengeti, the photographs throughout highlight the myriad African animals and the people who work to protect them. A multiple page index with detailed entries for wildebeests will help students with report writing, and the selected bibliography will lead to more in-depth study of specific African trees, shrubs, mammals, and birds.
VERDICT A celebration of the amazing wildebeests and African wildlife. Recommended for homework support.

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