Cover image for Wild animals of Africa ABC
Wild animals of Africa ABC
Ryden, Hope.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Lodestar Books, [1989]

Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 24 x 25 cm
Presents a photograph of an African animal for each letter of the alphabet.
General Note:
1st printing.

"Printed in Hong Kong by South China Printing Co."--tp verson.
Local Note:
Edward F. Wllis Memorial Fund.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RBR ELLIS ABC 1989.R9 Juvenile Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Rare Books-Appointment Needed

On Order



Presents a photograph of an African animal for each letter of the alphabet.

Author Notes

Hope Elaine Ryden was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 1, 1929. In 1951, she received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Iowa. Afterward, she was a fashion model and a flight attendant. In 1958, she was a crew member aboard Pan Am's inaugural trans-Atlantic jet passenger flight. She developed a passion for photography during breaks abroad.

In 1961, she joined Robert Drew & Associates, a noted documentary production company. She later worked for ABC News. She was a writer, director, and producer of documentary films. Her books on wildlife included America's Last Wild Horses, God's Dog: A Celebration of the North American Coyote, Bobcat Year, Wild Animals of America ABC, and Lily Pond: Four Years with a Family of Beavers. She also wrote for National Geographic, Audubon, Smithsonian, and The New York Times Magazine. Her documentaries featured the actress Jane Fonda at 25 as she prepared for her starring role in The Fun Couple on Broadway, two Peace Corps nurses in Malaya, and a Boston man who saved some 9,000 animals in Suriname from starvation or drowning. She died from complications of hip surgery on June 18, 2017 at the age of 87.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-8. With the plethora of alphabet books available, one quick way to compare volumes is to check the challenging letters--Q, U, X, Y, and Z. Ryden gets praise for photographing a Queen Malila tortoise, a unicornfish, an xoxo (an African name for the frog shown), and a yellow-legged galago. A zebra is an easy solution. Each white page contains a large color photo, the name of the animal, and the letter of the alphabet. The quality of the photography varies, with out-of-focus backgrounds and the convoluted positions of some of the animals interfering with ease of identification. As in Ryden's Wild Animals of America ABC [BKL My 1 88], this offering acquaints children with a variety of wildlife from a large area, and in this case, most of it unfamiliar. A brief description of each animal (without geographic locations) rounds out the book. --Deborah Abbott

Publisher's Weekly Review

Naturalist and wildlife photographer Ryden, using the same abecedarian format as her popular Wild Animals of America ABC , shows youngsters the habitats of 26 animals that live on the African continent or in its waters and coral reefs. The exciting full-color photos provide vivid glimpses of the incredible variety of wildlife, from Aardvark to Zebra. Ryden's inspirational introduction advises readers who know these creatures from zoos to ``try to imagine how they look and behave'' in their natural habitats, and the book closes with three pages of additional information about the animals pictured. This is a book that stretches with a child's interest and understanding. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-- Full-color photographs taken on site in Kenya and in United States zoos illustrate this alphabet book in which the letter and the name of the animal are the sole text. Although the postscript to the text extends the information on each animal well beyond the interest and cognitive needs of all but the most precocious abecedarian, the format is not likely to appeal to students beyond the primary level. The adjectival form of names such as ``spotted hyena'' and ``Thomson's gazelle,'' along with local descriptors such as ``Queen Malila,'' an African name for the giant tortoise, are used to create entries for each of the 26 letters. The juxtaposition of close-up photographs of the cheetah and the dik-dik or the unicornfish and the vervet monkey may confuse the relative size of these animals for very young readers. Books about wildlife abound, most with comparable photography and far more complete and informative descriptions. As alphabet books go, this one will leave readers with deja zoo. --Nancy E. Curran, formerly at Charleston Junior High School , IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.