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Dave Taylor

Erin (Ont.), Boston Mills Press, 1990. 120pp, paper, $19.95
ISBN 1-55046-016-1. CIP

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up
Reviewed by Elinor Kelly.

Volume 18 Number 6
1990 November

Dave Taylor is a teacher in Ontario and a natural history writer and photog­rapher. A few years ago he went on safari to Kenya with a private car and driver, an arrangement which gave him time to linger, observe and photograph as long as he wanted.

All the photographs were taken within two weeks and the only animal seen but not caught on film was the leopard. The book is more than half pictures and they are magnificent: lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras, warthogs, rhinos and so on, and many, many birds.

All the parks and reserves in Kenya were visited — first the semi-desert north, where Elsa (Born Free) lived.

Lions, cheetahs, gerenuks, dik dik, elephants — all these are closely observed and their habits described. Next comes Mt, Kenya with its herds of Cape buffalo, troops of sykes' monkeys, and black rhino. Then the grasslands with zebra, ostrich, impala and other antelope. On to Mara country with its vast herds, the place where sky and grass meet that the Maasai call "The End." Here are seen lion kills among the herds of all kinds of plant-eaters. A sequence on wildebeast trying to cross the river is truly graphic. Last is the dry lake area in sight of Kilimanjaro with all the big game Africa is famous for and hundreds of species of birds and poachers, too. The author points out that Kenya has a better wildlife preser­vation track record than North America. Where are our free-roaming grizzlies or bison?

This book succeeds in its aim of persuading the reader that these animals are worth preserving. It is tourist dollars that keep them alive. Anyone who can is urged to go on safari. Certainly, the stories and pictures are the sort that make you ring up your travel agent before even looking at your bank book. For school use this is a "reading" book, not in textbook format, that is, with a wide appeal both to children and grown ups. Includes map and index.

Elinor Kelly, Port Hope, Ont.
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