Jumbo the most famous elephant who ever lived by Alexandra Stewart
Illus. by Emily Sutton. Bloomsbury, 2020. ISBN: 9781526608581.
Highly recommended. Many, many years ago, there was an elephant named Jumbo. His story is one that has been told thousands of times over the years, and has lead to major changes in the realm of animal welfare. In this book Alexandra Stewart tells us the most amazing story about Jumbo's life and trek from the Sahara all the way to this his final resting place in America's National History Museum.
I was really enthralled by this book and read it from front to back as soon as I got it. I have now read it to my children, family members and other staff at my school!
We learn about how, in the 1860s, an elephant was shipped, trained and shipped again across the world! How his life varied in the zoo and the circus and eventually how modern science has allowed us to learn many new things about the magnificent Jumbo. Alexandra Stewart also tell us about the people involved in Jumbo's life, especially Mr Scott an extra special keeper/handler in the elephant's life.
Woven in to the pages is also information about the London Zoo, the difference between Asian and African elephants, and the lasting effect of his legacy in today's animal welfare and conservation efforts.
Overall, this book is one of my favourites! The story is engaging and full of interest at every page turn. I loved learning about Jumbo and how he was looked after over 100 years ago.
I cannot leave this review without talking about the illustrations. Emily Sutton has really created something special. Every page is beautiful. Her use of watercolours with pencil outlines shows the animals' emotions and brings them to life! I particularly love the pages depicting the London Zoo and the final page of the elephants in the sanctuary.
5 out of 5 for this book, especially great for the animal lover in your life.