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Akimbo and the Lions [Paperback]

Alexander McCall Smith , LeUyen Pham
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Paperback, January 2007 --  

Book Description

January 2007 Akimbo
Ten-year-old Akimbo lives on a game preserve in Africa. His father is the head ranger, and Akimbo is eager to help him whenever he can--even if it means getting into some pretty dangerous situations.
 
In Akimbo and the Lions, Akimbo helps his father set a trap for a lioness that has been attacking cattle on nearby farms. But when the lion they catch turns out to be a cub, Akimbo must find a way to care for the young lion until it's old enough to be released in the wild.

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Product Description

From Booklist

Gr. 3-5. By a well-known author of adult books, this story featuring a young boy, Akimbo, who lives "in the heart of Africa," conveys appreciation and respect for the African landscape, culture, and people, as well as a sense of the importance of wildlife conservation. Akimbo accompanies his father, a wildlife ranger, on an investigation of lion attacks on an area farm, where Akimbo finds a lion cub. He takes over the cub's care, but when it gets older, the boy knows that he must return his beloved cub to the wild. Akimbo emerges as a brave, caring protagonist who faces dilemmas and danger in the service of the animals and people he loves. The illustrations, which appear to be well-executed, soft-edged, black-and-white pictures, were not available in completed form in this galley. Pair this with Smith's Akimbo and the Elephants. Shelle Rosenfeld
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith has written more than fifty books, including the bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency mysteries and The Sunday Philosophy Club. A professor of medical law at Edinburgh University, he lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

www.alexandermccallsmith.com
 
LeUyen Pham has illustrated numerous award-winning books for children, including Big Sister, Little Sister; Sing-Along Song; and Piggies in a Polka. She lives in San Francisco, California.
 
www.leuyenpham.com

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Akimbo Helps Save All the Animals May 28 2008
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Although this book is described as being for the 4-8 year-old group, it seemed to me more like a 7-9 year-old book.

I was attracted to the book by realizing that the various animal-related stories that Alexander McCall Smith includes in his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books were among my favorite parts of those books. It occurred to me that the Akimbo books might have such stories in them.

Well, not quite . . . but the series is full of Akimbo learning about wild animals, the threats to animals from people, and deals with the problems through Akimbo's brave deeds. Children like to see themselves playing important roles in the world, and Akimbo and the Lions is very good for appealing to that desire.

Akimbo's father works as a ranger at a game preserve in Africa where some near-by farmers have been losing cattle to lions. Akimbo's father is asked to do something and goes to trap the lion. The results end up differently than expected and Akimbo learns a lot about the challenges of balancing domestic and wild animals in the same areas. The story is a heart-warming one that both boys and girls will enjoy.

The book is nicely illustrated which adds to the realism of the story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Akimbo Saves The Day Oct. 29 2005
By Jon Linden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is McCall Smith's second book in the "Akimbo" series and like virtually all his books, it is masterfully done. In this book, Akimbo goes on a trip with his father, the new Head Gamekeeper of the wildlife preserve. They have gone to check out reports that a lion is eating cattle. The loss of cattle is akin to the loss of pure gold in Akimbo's part of Africa. Thus, such a lion must be handled.

Akimbo begs his father to take him on the trip. With some trepidation, his father agrees. The team of Gamekeepers and Akimbo travel to the farm which has reported the problem. No one actually has seen the lion, but they believe by the sounds and the results that it is surely a lion. The Gamekeepers set a trap, using a goat as bait. The trap is supposed to work by capturing the lion when he goes to get the goat.

The trap is set up, and Akimbo and his father get set to wait out the night and see what happens. As luck would have it, the lion does show up on that night. The trap is sprung, and Akimbo's father goes to check the trap. As soon as his father leaves the hiding place, Akimbo notices, he has forgotten his rifle. His father approaches the trap, and is dismayed to find, the lion is not in the trap. The lion is standing outside the trap, and starts to close in on Akimbo's father.

Akimbo has never shot a rifle before, but he has observed his father use it. He picks up the gun. He aims, and his father tells him, "Shoot into the air." Akimbo does so twice. The lion leaves quickly. Then they go to find out why the trap di not work, and find that it is sprung. Inside is a very small baby lion cub. The rest of the book discusses Akimbo's relationship with the lion cub, and the eventual release of the lion into the wild.

Once again, McCall Smith has created a wonder of a book. It is highly recommended as a children's story. It provides a look at a very different society and world than the American world. In addition, it shows the respect of the people for the animals. All parents with young children should find this book a great addition to their children's reading library.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 stars March 7 2006
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It was one of the most passionate books I ever read. It made me cry. The pictures were wonderful. The book had very good descriptions. People who like animals, stories that take place in Africa, and love will like this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for great children's books? March 28 2011
By Ana Braga-Henebry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This series for young readers, written by my favorite contemporary author, has all I look for in a children's book:

-excellent writing
-interesting story
-active, forward pace
-realistic character development and a setting that is foreign and fascinating
-and finally a virtuous protagonist

During a recent illness my 10 year old daughter and I spent a fair amount of time on the couch, and we took turns reading aloud three volumes of this series. A children's book is a winner when the teens and adults in the house stop to listen to the story. No juvenile fluff here, but interesting plots that appeal to anyone. Akimbo is the sweet, but courageous and clever young son of an African park ranger. Helping his dad, and armed with his noble soul and courage and determination, he is able to find adventure and ways to help others in each of the stories.

The illustrations are wonderful! We stopped at each illustrated page and made comments about how good they were. I am including one here that shows the amount of expression on young Akimbo's face as he tells the head ranger of what he just discovered...

Alexander McCall Smith, the author, grew up in Africa and returns there each year. He knows what he is writing about, and you can sense from his writing that in his heart there lives a deep love and admiration for Africa. I highly recommend this series for anyone looking for a good children's series! Don't miss the other titles, there are five of them!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Griffin's Review Aug. 19 2006
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book was a fun book to read. I liked it a lot. I think it was my favorite book that I've read so far in my life. I am going to buy my own copy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book for boys! Sept. 8 2009
By C. Gueits - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
We purchased this to read to my 5 year old boy. This book kept him wanting more and more...We read the book in half the time we expected because he couldnt get enough...We are purchasing the set of Akimbo books for him-great boy book!
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