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These two picture books are from the 'Animals at Risk' series and in both the texts are well matched by the beautiful and evocative illustrations. Elephant begins with an African family finding a forgotten ivory necklace. The daughter, Hannah, wants to know why her parents are frightened by it and what power it seems to hold over them. As she sleeps with the necklace under her pillow, she finds out - in her dreams she meets a great grey elephant and she feels its anger, hurt and puzzlement. When the family's car stalls on a real life visit to a game reserve, and they encounter a female elephant, the parents are terrified by the life-threatening situation. Hannah resolves the story in a memorable way.
Whale is a gripping tale of a family at sea in a small boat. They are travelling home late at night, having waited for a violent storm to abate. Their radio informs them of the break-up of an oil-tanker, and of the resulting vast oil-slick. Fear is well portrayed, as is the all-powerful nature of the sea. There is a wonderful feeling of magic in the story as a humpbacked whale and calf flee the oil-slick and pass by the small boat. Both these 'animal rights' books close with a fact sheet.