Tuesday 7 March 2017

The Small Five

The Small Five by Ralph Johnstone, illustrated by Harriet Stanes (Little Steps Publishing) PB RRP $14.95  ISBN: 9781925117509

Reviewed by Anne Hamilton

The ‘Big Five’ of Africa are renowned and celebrated the world over—lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant. But the ‘Small Five’? The ones who share names with their famous five counterparts and can fit in the palm of your hand? Nope. The ant lion, leopard tortoise, buffalo weaver, rhinoceros beetle and elephant shrew are as unknown as their namesakes are well-known.

This fun story is about a contest between the ‘Small Five’ and the ‘Big Five’. The ‘Small Five’ are fed up with all the attention given to the ‘Big Five’ and challenge them to tests of skill, will and wits.

Doc Croc is the ref and the games are on!

Kids aged 3–6 (and probably well beyond) will love this book with its lively illustrations—it’s the Davids vs Goliaths of the African savannah. The background inspiration is no better expressed than in the words of the author: ‘The little guys always get a raw deal. After all, they’re just as robust and wily—in fact, some of them, like the leopard tortoise and the rhinoceros beetle, are even tougher than the Big Five!’

Part of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards supporting children at the Kenya Children’s Home.

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