A science and nature biography of Cynthia Moss, the elephant expert, by the author of Caldecott Honor bookOne Cool Friend
Cynthia Moss was never afraid of BIG things. As a kid, she loved to ride through the countryside on her tall horse. She loved to visit faraway places. And she especially loved to learn about nature and the world around her. So when Cynthia traveled to Africa and met the world’s most ENORMOUS land animal, the African elephant, at Amboseli National Park in Kenya, she knew she had found her life’s work.
Cynthia has spent years learning everything she can about elephants and sharing these fascinating creatures with the world. She is a scientist, nature photographer, and animal-rights activist, fighting against the ivory poachers who kill so many elephants for their tusks.
This lyrical and accessible picture book gives kids a glimpse of what scientists do in the real world and inspires them to dream of accomplishing BIG things.
Grades 2-4. Even as a small girl, Cynthia Moss never shied away from big things. She rode large horses and observed the wildlife near her home in New York. Her keen eyes and curious nature served her well when she grew up to become a scientist, then a reporter, and later, when she was selected to photograph elephants in the wilds of Africa. For 40 years, Moss would spend her days in Amboseli National Park observing elephant behavior and family dynamics and advocating for a global ban on ivory sales. Buzzeo’s text is dense but enthusiastic and will hold strong readers’ interest, especially alongside Berry’s vibrant art. The illustrations make use of African motifs—rendered in bold reds, yellows, and greens—and capture the joys and sorrows of Moss’ work with the African elephants. The enormous scale of her courageous, continued work is summed up in the biography at the end of the title and in the final lines of her story: “Cynthia Moss is not afraid of BIG things.”