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Jumbo: The Most Famous Elephant Who Ever Lived

Jumbo’s story is a true and complete description of the life of this huge elephant. It is aimed at older children and adults and is complemented by factual information along the way. The text is dense, the font is quite small and some of the issues addressed are quite complex.

The story begins with the birth of Jumbo in a corner of South Africa more than 150 years ago. He was captured by local hunters who sold animals to Europeans. Zoos were opening all over the world, and wild animals were in demand, so Jumbo was led across deserts and finally reached Paris. From here he went to the London Zoo where he entertained adults and children for many years. His adventures did not end there because he was eventually sold to PT Barnum Circus, where he continued to perform and entertain.

The pages of this book are filled with illustrations of a huge variety of animals and birds. There is a double page spread comparing an African elephant to an Indian elephant. The large amount of information means that this is a book to be kept and read for many years. Issues such as animal welfare and zoo standards can lead into discussions of value for children.

After a tragic death, Jumbo’s bones were on display in an American Museum. Gradually circuses have stopped using wild animals in acts. Jumbo: The Most famous Elephant Who Ever Lived would be a great reference book for students or animal lovers in general.

Author Alexandra Stewart. Illustrations Emily Sutton.
Publisher Bloomsbury Children's Books
ISBN 9781526608581
Distributor Bloomsbury Children's Books
Released November 2020