Kids’ coffee table book a wild ride

The All Africa Wildlife Express by Rosamund Haden, illustrated by Tony Pinchuck, published by Tafelberg, R190.

It was truly challenging to hand over Rosamund Haden and Tony Pinchuck’s The All Africa Wildlife Express to my kids, I so wanted to protect the beautifully illustrated book from sticky little hands and snotty noses.

The colourfully illustrated pages makes it the “coffee table book” of children’s stories – too delightful to stack away in a bookshelf somewhere. After all, Pinchuck is an established designer, illustrator and artist.

The reader can join Mr Elephant and all the other magnificent creatures from the Animal Kingdom for a roaring train ride and a “fun-tastic” party-playdate with the monkeys at the Hotel Splendide. Learn the name of various animals as you’re taken on a wildlife journey of mammoth proportions.

There’s a slight hint of Wes Anderson in the drawings, something many a parent can appreciate. The storyline is humble but combined with a visual bouquet of drawings, it has the potential to take those big imaginations, which are captured in little bodies, along for the journey.

But don’t take my words for it, they are after all just a grown-up’s way of expression.

The real verdict? “A wild train voyage to hang on to”, I realise as I watch my three-year-old cuddle the book in bed while he drifts asleep.

The pages are filled with a grand adventure for young and old!

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