The African Safari Adventure series are targeted at 8-12-year-olds of all ages and take their titles from the so-called Little Five: ant-lion, elephant-shrew, buffalo-weaver, leopard-tortoise and rhinoceros-beetle, as opposed to the Big Five: lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros – what every tourist aspires to see on safari.
Having read The Ant-Lion, watch out for The Elephant-Shrew, due for publication in October 2010, in which Lucy, Kal, Ellie, Matata, and of course Fupi, in helping to move a rare but dangerous antelope from the coast of Tanzania to Simba wildlife ranch, are thrown into further hair-raising adventures by the discovery of an ancient map, messages scratched on cave walls, and hidden ruins in the forest, all of which tell of a terrible bygone culture. But has that terrible time really past? Why does Matata find the ruins so scary? What happens in the under-water cave of the rock-cod? Who is the mysterious old man who never speaks? And is the elephant-shrew quite what it seems?
Rip roaring adventure. My only complaint is that, just as with Ant Lion we could not put it down! It combines the childhood independence of Swallows and Amazons with the cliff-hanger dangers of Biggles. I have read both books to my boy and bedtime reading has been extended sometimes to 10.30 at night as the cry 'oh just one more page' turned into 3 more chapters. Outstanding writing. We loved every word on every page. We need the next book NOW!! Please!!!
by T Mason
Anthony Irvin studied veterinary medicine at Cambridge University, and after a period in UK farming practice, went to East Africa for two years and stayed for twenty where he became an expert on a disease of cattle and wildlife that no one outside Africa has ever heard of. During this time he travelled widely through the region and worked closely with indigenous people such as the Maasai. He has camped amongst elephants, canoed amongst hippos, windsurfed amongst stingrays, climbed Africa’s highest mountain, eaten crocodile, and photographed a rhino in his pyjamas. He is happiest when driving his Land Rover through the bush or eating haggis by an African campfire.
These exploits and experiences encouraged him to write the African Safari Adventure series (of which The Ant-Lion is book one). He hopes that his readers, while sharing in the thrill of safari and the exploits of Lucy, Kal, Ellie, Matata and Fupi, will, with the help of Cat Sawyer’s beautiful line drawings, also learn something of African animals, wildlife conservation, and the very different lifestyle of the Maasai people.
He now lives in wild Suffolk with his wife, two children, and a collection of other animals, including a mischievously intelligent Parson Russell terrier called Tigger, on whom the character Fupi is based.