17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A profoundly moving and inspiring book,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lion Children (Hardcover)
This is a truly remarkable book. I could not put it down. Angus, Maisie, and Travers (and Oakley) McNeice write of the complete transformation of their lives brought about when their mother, a biologist, decided to take the family to live at Maun, on the edge of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, and then to a camp in the African bush to study lions. The book is entirely in their own words, and illustrated by their own beautiful drawings. There is no cloying sentimentality here. The children write with honesty, courage, and remarkable wisdom; and they write extraordinarily well. They describe the challenges, anxieties, and excitement of settling down to life in the bush; their new friends; their first Christmas in Africa; their mother's remarriage; and above all, about the lions. We sense how the children become drawn into their parents' research, how they gain in expertise and understanding. There is no doubt that these children are highly capable young scientists. Their education - thanks to the remarkable vision, talent, and effort of their mother Kate - has been exceptional: "For us every day is a biology lesson, and we are lucky enough not to be solely dependent on dry textbooks, for we are being taught by nature itself," writes Travers. Would that more children had their eyes and minds opened by such an education! This is not, then, just the story of a unique and highly talented family, or a celebration of lions and a plea for the protection of these magnificent creatures, though that is an important message. It is about what education should be; about what our relationship to nature should be; about what life is. Human relations play as central a role in the book as those between humans and other animals: the love and mutual support of these children and their parents shine out from the pages. This is a deeply moving book that could change your life.