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Eric S. Grace
Toronto, Key Porter Books, 1993. 64pp, cloth, $18.95
ISBN 1-5501J448-5. (Natural History series). CIP.

Grades 4 and up/ Ages 9 and up

Reviewed by Fred Leicester.

Volume 21 Number 5
1993 October

In this newest volume in the Key Porter "Natural History" series, author and zoologist Eric Grace offers readers both young and old a first­hand look at the wild elephant in its natural habitat.

After having read this book, which I enjoyed immensely, I think I now know just about everything there is to know about elephants. I was interested to learn that elephants spend sixteen hours a day feeding, that the herd leader is a female and not a male "bull," that the tallest elephant recorded was thirteen feet high and the heaviest weighed as much as a loaded seventy-two-seat school bus, and that one ear from an African elephant can cover a bed (6 feet by 5 feet).

All this wonderful information is contained in seven well-illustrated chapters, beginning with a short history outlining the development of elephants from their pre­historic ancestors to today's African and Asian species. Other chapters describe elephant anatomy, what a typical day in an elephant's life is like, and how elephants communicate, gather food, and play. We also learn about the dangers they face from ivory hunters and loss of habitat.

There are many crisp colour photographs as well as line and colour drawings. A fairly comprehensive index facilitates locating specific information.

This is an accurate, very informative, well-illustrated book that should satisfy the curiosity of elementary and secondary students alike.


Fred Leicester is the principal at Ecole elementaire Edelweiss in Golden, British Columbia.
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