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Safari in South Africa: Adventures of Riley #2    by Amanda Lumry, Laura Hurwitz & Sarah McIntyre order for
Safari in South Africa
by Amanda Lumry
Order:  USA  Can
Eaglemont, 2003 (2003)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I opened this picture book with anticipation, having enjoyed the first in the Adventures of Riley, Tigers in Terai. As before, I found the combination of colorful illustrations with photos to be effective and appealing. Uncle Max has invited Riley to join him, Aunt Martha and Cousin Alice on safari in the South African bush, so off we all go with him.

Accompanying them are a guide and a tracker. Their tracker points out animals and birds in the bush. Each time he does so in the story, a sidebar provides fascinating facts about the critters. In this episode we learn about the Lilac-Breasted Roller bird, Nyala antelope, cheetahs, wild dogs, baboons, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, a bushbaby, hippos, Cape buffalo, leopards and lions.

Funny moments include cheetah cubs playing soccer with elephant poop, and an accident that saves the day after a thrilling elephant charge shakes everyone up. Uncle Max carries a GPS unit and plans to count animal numbers to check whether they are going up or down. He explains the importance of a balance in nature between prey and predator. As usual, he messes up and needs Riley's help.

The series was developed with help from the Smithsonian, World Wildlife Fund and Wildlife Conservation Society. To increase the fun, there's a Passport to Riley's World and an adventure sticker for the particular episode at the back of each book. It's a marvellous series which I recommend highly to you - use it to travel the world and learn about places and wildlife along with the kids.

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