Review Detail

Kids Fiction 206
Magical Adventure to the Serengeti
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Callie's class is on a trip to the zoo. Since Callie wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up, she doesn't mind mucking out the elephant stalls with her classmates, but she really wants to see the lions, who are sleeping. When they wake up, Callie goes to see them, but a postcard magically transports her to Africa! At the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Callie finds a lost lion cub whom she names Tanzy. Since the cub is very young, the two try to find its mother. Callie takes good care of the cub, feeding her her sandwich and trying to find water. The two escape a stampede of wildebeests while trying to follow water birds to a river, and find themselves in a herd of zebras! After narrowly escaping cheetahs as well as brown ants, Callie manages to get Tanzy back to her family, and returns to her class, ready for her next magical adventure.
Good Points
This new series will be great for fans of animal books that talk about animal care and include children who want to be veterinarians, such as Peters and Snowden's The Jasmine Green series. I can also see this being popular with the readers of Jane Clarke's illustrated Dr. Kitty Cat, and the magical twist is similar to the Daisy Meadows Magic Animal Friends books.

I loved that Callie was very brave and is more concerned about Tanzy than she is about herself. She uses her knowledge of the wildlife and animals to help her move forward. She keeps Tanzy fed and safe, and understands how important it is for the cub to get back to her mother. Yes, she cuddles the lion, which seems like a bad idea to me personally, but given how cute the picture on the cover is, how could she not? It seems unlikely that this book would encourage young readers to go out to find lion cubs to cuddle, so it's good to see her caring for the the cub so diligently.

Line drawings of the Serengeti landscape and the flora and fauna there add an extra layer of immediacy to a fun animal story with a component of magical adventure.
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