Friday 27 January 2012

27. Animal Rescue Book 1: Elephant Alert by Jackie French

Animal Rescue Book 1: Elephant Alert by Jackie French
Published February 2012 Scholastic

From the publisher:
Leo thinks he's an ordinary kid, but he isn't-he can talk to animals and his best friend's a guinea pig! Mozz knows she's anything but ordinary. She's cool and clever, lives in a mansion with her mad scientist grandmother, and she soars through the sky in a rocket-the SkyTiger-saving wild animals around the world! Together, with the SkyTiger ready to take off, Leo and Mozz make an unstoppable animal rescue force. When Mozz convinces Leo to help her save the Puloa Gajah (Elephant Island) elephants from an incoming tsunami, she knows they're in with a fighting chance. But when the elephants won't listen to Leo's warnings, Leo and the animals find they're all in danger!

I was really looking forward to reading this book, the first in a new series, because it seemed like something really different for Jackie French to write. 

As well as the obvious animal/conservation theme, there is also a strong theme of environmental awareness. Mozz lives with her Gran, a scientist/inventor who has made billions form her inventions (including robot rubbish bins) and with this money has created a refuge for animals that can't be returned to the wild, and also a headquarters for an animal rescue group.  This is where Leo comes in, they need his help, as he can talk to animals.  So off they go, in the jet  made of recycled plastic bottles that is fuelled by old banana skins, to save the elephants...but this is only the 2 has also been released, Gorilla Grab.

This is a fun and easy to read novel that's excellent for good younger readers, and will also appeal to slightly older reluctant readers. The print is a good size and there a handful of illustrations scattered through to break up the text.  There are also factual notes about elephants in the back of the book.

Who will like this book: Girls and boys age 7+
Read it if you like: the Mission Fox series by Justin D'Ath

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