Author : Rossiti Aishah Rashidi Illustrator : Farrah Asheila Samsuri Publishers Review : by Peter Duke
‘Big Strong and Beautiful… It’s a tough world for elephants’. Rossiti’s final quote in her fascinating book about elephants.
In this book about Siti the elephant, Rossiti has continued with the approach she pioneered in her first book Puteri Tioman.
This involves combining interesting facts about her subject – a Green Turtle in Pulau Tioman - and the dangerous environment in which they live. Farrah’s realistic and beautiful illustrations help carry the story along.
Siti is an elephant living with two other elephants in a small compound surrounded by an electric fence in Zoo Negara in Kuala Lumpur.
She was not born in captivity but in the wild. When she was captured she was brought to the zoo where she is one of the favourites. Rossiti compares her life today in the zoo with what it was like when she was free.
Rossiti continues with a series of pages containing general facts about elephants, both working elephants and those living in the wild.
Siti’s story ends with how she was captured in a banana plantation which used to be a forest. Denuding forest land for agriculture is one of the major causes of loss of habitat that is creating the competition between man and the elephant for space. A competition that elephants are losing.
But not all elephants live in zoos, many live in special elephant sanctuaries like the Kuala Gandah Sanctuary in Malaysia. Farrah has created a delightful picture of Rossiti, her husband and three of her young daughters at the sanctuary.
After an informative first part, the second part of the book comes with the delightful and well-known story of the elephant and the five blind men.
Finally, there is a section on facts about elephants.
This is an important book about a rapidly disappearing species of animal that needs protection. This book deserves to be in every classroom and in home collections.