Desert Elephants
by Helen Cowcher

Price at time of review: $16.99
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc.
New York, NY
ISBN: 9780374317744

Grade Level: K-2

Reviewed by CBC Reviewer

This is a different sort of migration study—a detailed description of a unique species and its environment, intertwined with the human communities through which their annual journeys take them. This species of elephants from Mali travels over 300 miles through desert terrain looking for the water they need to survive. Along the way they encounter and influence many communities. The clear relationship between humans and elephants makes the book unique.

A map helps the reader appreciate the enormity of the habitat. The interdependence of the people and the species in the desert becomes clear as individuals and families encounter the migrating elephants. Beautiful drawings enhance both the readers' cultural and biological understandings. Because of its humanistic approach and its potential for interdisciplinary integration, this book was named an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Book. Readers in elementary and middle school will enjoy it on many levels.

Review posted on 1/20/2012

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