Unsafe in Africa

Children - Animals
24 Pages
Reviewed on 03/25/2016
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite

Kantu: Unsafe in Africa is written by Joan Diehl and illustrated by Sara Gerke. After almost two years of pregnancy, a mama elephant named Ela (meaning: intelligent woman) gives birth to her baby, which she names Kantu (meaning: happy). Ela hopes that Kantu will be happy for his whole life which, for elephants, is approximately seventy years. Once Kantu is five years old, he will go and live elsewhere, as male elephants only interact with female elephants during mating season. This means Ela must teach many lessons to Kantu in a short amount of time. While elephants do not have any natural enemies in the wild, hyenas tend to prey on the old, sick, or baby elephants as a quick and easy meal. The female elephants stay together always, ensuring that the babies are protected and that parenting is shared by all. Kantu learns the hard way that hyenas are not friendly, and is rescued by the females when they hear him scream. Poaching is another problem, as humans tend to hunt elephants for their tusks. The ivory brings a big pay day for the poachers, which encourages the hunters to kill even more.

The illustrations are as magnificent as the animals this story talks about. I believe that the information contained in this book is vital learning for this generation and the next, as poaching of elephants for their ivory is a big problem which may soon leave elephants on the brink of extinction. Joan Diehl has done an amazing job in presenting the facts about elephants, why they are so important, and why they are becoming endangered. This book would be a wonderful addition to any school or city library, as the wealth of information contained in Kantu: Unsafe in Africa is immeasurable, bringing about awareness of the plight of elephants around the globe to children and adults alike.