Monday, August 27, 2012

Owings, Lisa. The Cape Buffalo.

Owings, Lisa.     The Cape Buffalo.       Scholastic/ Childrens Press   24p $16.95  978-0-531-20880-9       elem  Series: Nature's Deadliest (Scholastic/Childrens) VG

This book offers interesting information for young readers about the Cape buffalo:  habitat, description, value to society, danger to humans, and its prevalence in the world.  In the introduction, Lisa Owings describes a confrontation between some workers and a Cape buffalo in South Africa, which leaves one young man struggling to survive after he is gored unexpectedly.  This exciting introduction will entice young readers to turn the pages.  In Chapter Two, Owings describes the typical Cape buffalo and contrasts his body size with a human’s.  The animal's ferocity is described in detail, and one learns that a Cape buffalo will even wait for a lion in a tree for hours!  The Cape buffalo cannot be tamed like the water buffalo.  It is in this chapter that the supporting photographs are the most interesting.  One shows a lion waiting to attack, and another shows two Cape buffalo fighting each other for dominance.  Chapter Three contains fascinating information about the reputation of the Cape buffalo as a killer.  Once wounded, he will kill.  He will even wait for a hunter and trample him!  This chapter shows children the value of the Cape buffalo and threats to its existence.  All in all, this book contains the requisite information to make it useful for research, classroom presentations, and compare/contrast studies between the buffalo and other predators.  The extra features include vocabulary words highlighted in neon green, a layout that is pleasing to the eye, a glossary, a list of resources to consult, and a short index.
The series Nature’s Deadliest includes books about the African elephant and lion, the box jellyfish, the great white shark and the grizzly bear, to name a few.  Each one covers descriptions of the animal and its habitat along with a summary of its uses to mankind, its danger to society and other pertinent information.                         --Martha Squaresky

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