A Leopard Diary: My Journey Into the Hidden World of a Mother and Her Cubs by Suzi Eszterhas

Published by Owlkids

Summary:  When Suzi Eszterhas hears about a pregnant female leopard living in Botswana, she decides to travel there to photograph her and her cubs.  The leopard, named Camp Female, is more relaxed around humans than most leopards, making opportunities for photographing more likely.  This book is written like a diary, from Suzi’s arrival on April 19 when the cubs are just a few weeks old, until February two years later, when those two are grown and living on their own and Camp Female has a new baby.  Suzi makes several trips during that time, capturing the leopards on film as the play, hunt, and rest.  She also records other animals she sees on her trips, like elephants, giraffes, and baboons.  The narrative ends when the newest cub is still a baby, but Suzi promises she’ll be back to continue her work.  Includes an interview with Kambango, her guide and friend, and a glossary.  40 pages; grades 3-5.

Pros:  I’m always thrilled to see a new book by Suzi Eszterhas, because they’re so popular with kids.  And why not?  High quality photos of adorable animals and stories written engagingly for elementary students make a winning combination that is continued in her most recent work.

Cons:  Camp Female seemed like a pretty dreary name for a leopard, with not much improvement when she was renamed “Mom”. 

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