Crocodiles, Camels and Dugout Canoes: Eight Adventurous Episodes

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9781422353974: Crocodiles, Camels and Dugout Canoes: Eight Adventurous Episodes
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Exciting segments from the adventures of eight travelers who followed their dreams, regardless of setbacks and sometimes insurmountable obstacles. A pre-Darwinian naturalist who trampled barefoot through the snake-infested jungles of South America; a nineteenth-century Swedish engineer who set out for the North Pole in a gas-filled balloon; and a Victorian woman who, after a sheltered life in a London suburb, pursued a fish and fetish mission in West Africa. These are just a few of the intrepid travelers whose exploits are dramatically evoked in this fascinating book. Bo Zaunders and Roxie Munro have brought together people of rare individual initiative and sketched their stories from diaries, letters, and books. As success is not necessarily a gauge of valor, their quests do not always turn out as they hoped. What really matters is how they dealt with unexpected, often desperate situations. Their stories make for compelling, even spellbinding reading. Roxie Munro's vigorous art, full of personality, is the perfect accompaniment to the blend of courage and eccentricity represented here. An effortless combination of geography, history, and biography, this book again proves what lovers of nonfiction already know: that true-life stories can be as rich, as elucidating, and as gripping to read as any fiction.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Husband-and-wife team Zaunders (a newcomer to children's books) and Munro (the Inside-Outside Book series) have mined the annals of 19th- and 20th-century world travel and exploration literature, emerging with eight men and women whose exploits particularly fascinated them. Their enthusiasm?and their subjects' own intrepid spirits?shine through the pages of this absorbing picture book. Whether traveling with Dervla Murphy by bicycle from Ireland to India in the 1960s, sneaking into Mecca in disguise with Richard Burton in 1853, or scaling the summit of the Andes's highest mountain with 58-year-old Annie Smith Peck in 1908, readers can't help being drawn in by these dramatic incidents. Zaunders judiciously incorporates the explorers' own words, giving an immediacy and vigor to his accounts. He also has an eye for the kind of eccentric detail that appeals to children?Charles Waterton as an octogenarian prankster, for instance, hiding under the dining table and barking at a guest, or Antoine de Saint-Exupery, future author of The Little Prince, launching his literary career at age 14 with the autobiography of a top hat. Munro's watercolors pepper the pages with crisp visual detail and even inject a bit of humor, as in a depiction of proper Victorian lady Mary Kingsley bottoms-up in a leopard pit, saved from treacherous spikes by her full skirts. Informative and supremely entertaining, this book demonstrates that reading can be a great adventure, too. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Treacherous terrain and hostile environments were everyday fare for the 19th-century and early 20th-century global explorer-adventurers the husband-and-wife author and illustrator present in these pages. Life and limb were always at stake, but these gutsy, persevering men and women - among them Charles Waterton, Richard Burton, and Mary Kingsley - overcame fear, danger, and almost insurmountable obstacles to answer the call. August Andre set out to be the first to travel across the North Pole in a balloon, Ernest Shackleford wanted to be the first to make an overland crossing of the Antarctic, and Annie Smith Peck was the third woman to climb the Matterhorn (and the first to make the climb in pants). Others, in the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, traveled ``for travel's sake'': Dervla Murphy wanted to see the world, while Antoine de Saint-Exupry wished to quench the ``thirst to fly.'' Running from three to five pages each, the vignettes offer snapshot-sized, near-death moments from the adventurers' travels, then backpedal to include childhood events and other background. The same detailed pen-and-ink drawings that skillfully reveal perspectives in Munro's Inside Outside books deftly capture the travels of these hardy souls, from the Arctic to the Sahara. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 8-12) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Bo Zaunders
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Bo Zaunders
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Book Description Dutton/Penguin, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: Brand New. 48 pages. 11.10x9.10x0.40 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # 1422353974

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