Once in a while there is a story that comes around that truly touches my heart. I love animals and so does my son, so Chizi's Tale has become a remarkable reading experience. The book tells a heartwarming story about the unlikeliest bond between a baby rhino and humans.
When a baby rhino is found abandoned and sick, park ranger, Colin Saxon decides to take him in and care for him like he is part of the family. Sounds like something you'd see in a fictional movie, right? The amazing thing is that this book is actually a true story!
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT CHIZI'S TALE:
In Zimbabwe during a recent August, two park rangers made a surprising discovery. They found an abandoned baby black rhino, only days old. They called the park manager who, knowing the rhino could not survive alone, did something as surprising as the discovery itself: he took the baby rhino home. Chizi's Tale is the true story of that baby rhino. Chizi still lives with the park manager, his wife, and their children until he matures and can be released back into the wild.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jack Jones is a senior in high school at Brunswick School in Connecticut, where he is on the football, wrestling, and tennis teams. Every summer since he was a child, he has traveled to Africa where he has learned the importance of preserving and protecting nature. He is the youngest of four children, and he likes surfing, writing, and New York Giants football.
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:
Jacqui Taylor lives in the beautiful Chimanimani district of Zimbabwe. She started drawing as soon as she could hold a pencil - and had never stopped. She also has run her own one-woman design studio for almost 20 years. Almost all her work is inspired by her home - Africa.
Chizi is short for Chisiwana, which means "orphaned one" in Zimbabwe. Since black rhinos are actually endangered, Colin's goal was to help him mature so that he can eventually return to his natural habitat. Author, Jack Jones, really wanted to share this story, given that he's been traveling to Africa since he was a boy. On top of that, for every Chizi's Tale book sold, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to TUSK, a charity that works to help stop illegal poaching of ivory and rhino horns by focusing on the protection of endangered species and their habitats.
It's sad that things like poaching still occur around the world. I do think it's important to make children aware of the truth. While it may be a lot to take in at first, it will also be an eye opener that could lead them to be life-long supporters of nature preservation.
Without giving too much away about the book, let's just say the story is truly incredible and often times quite humorous as you read about Chizi getting accustomed to living in a house with a family of five. From playing with the kids, to sneaking a shower in the bathroom, to taking a little nap under the air conditioner, children will really enjoy learning about this sweet baby rhino's bond with the Saxon family. The illustrations done by Jacqui Taylor really help bring it all to life. There's even real photos in the back of the book of the Saxon's with Chizi.
Whether your child loves animals or you would like for them to learn more about wildlife preservation, I highly recommend giving them Chizi's Tale to read. It is an unforgettable true story that also offers a valuable learning experience.
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