Book review: Cecil’s Pride: the True Story of a Lion King, told by Craig Hatkoff, Juliana Hatkoff, and Isabella Hatkoff; photographs by Brent Stapelkamp

Hatkoff, Craig, Hatkoff, Juliana, Hatkoff, Isabella. Cecil’s Pride : The True Story of a Lion King. Photographs by Brent Stapelkamp. Scholastic Press, 2016. unp. $17.99. ISBN: 978-1-338-03445-5. Gr. 2+. P8 Q8

hatkoff-cecils-prideThe world was horrified when they discovered that Cecil the lion had been killed. Guides lured him out of a national park in Africa, he was then shot by a dentist from the United States. The world was shocked as pictures were flashed across the screen of the dentist and his trophy. It was the dark mane of Cecil which made it so easy to identify this magnificent lion. This book uses color photographs to tell the story of Cecil and his family. Cecil’s pride included another male lion, his brother, Jericho, who was part of the family unit. After Cecil was killed, Jericho took over as the leader, or King of the pride.

Verdict: Any school which is studying preservation of endangered animals should have this book included as part of their unit. The book’s theme is on conservation of animals, their protection and how no matter what we do it doesn’t always work.

November 2016 review by Carol Bernardi.

[Editor’s note: The story of Cecil’s Pride centers on the photographs taken by Brent Stapelkamp, photographer and lion researcher with the Oxford University Wildlife Conservation Research Unit that has tracked Cecil and his pride for nine years. This photographic essay focuses on the life of a lion and the family relationships within the pride.]

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