Top positive review
A children’s book which it will be enjoyed by animal lovers of any age...
4 July 2016
Having lived in southern Africa on the edge of a game reserve, Maretha Botha has first-hand experience of life in the region, and draws upon it to inform her stories. She is a champion of conservation, and keen to help young ones appreciate the importance of looking out for, and seeing the plight of many creatures, especially those in the wild.
Though this is a children’s book, it will be enjoyed by animal lovers of any age. It’s an entertaining adventure story that parents will enjoy reading to younger children, or will be appreciated by older independent readers. It’s thought provoking using the descriptive imagery of Africa to set the scene for the series to develop.
Flame and Hope are best friends, and the stories are told through the eyes of Hope. Since Hope is a bird perched high in an Acacia tree, he has an uninterrupted view of the remote cattle farm where Flame, a dog, lives. Flames and Hope are also friends with many other and varied animals and birds that live in the vicinity. On occasions the creatures gather around the tree where Hope is perched, and from where he recounts tales of past goings on.
This is a great writing device, and Maretha uses it well. Although the stories are engaging and well told, I have a slight reservation with the book for the newly independent reader: typically eight years old and upwards. Having said that, Roald Dahl’s Gobblefunk added over a thousand words to the English language of no relevance or meaning and his books are highly successful. Unlike Dahl, Maretha does include a dictionary in her book to help with pronunciation – look out Roald, you have a new contender chasing your heels…