Traveling Photographer series
Finished: Sept. 24, 2011
First Published: 2008
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, non-fiction, photo-essay, travel, gorillas, Africa
Getting close enough to photograph some of the few mountain gorillas alive on our planet today is a real challenge.
Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.
Reason for Reading: I am reading the author's entire backlist with my son and discussing the life of a photographer/photojournalist as a career option while doing so.
This is the first book in the author's "Traveling Photographer" series and the one we least enjoyed. For a book about gorillas it takes until well past the middle of the book for a gorilla to be seen. This caused my son to loose interest in the narrative, which I found to be interesting but hardly that entertaining. Sobol certainly talks about the mountain gorillas a lot giving the reader plenty of information and we are led with him through his uncomfortable trip through the rainforest to find them; with lots of pictures of his guides in the rainforest and panoramic views of the scenery. The pictures near the end of the book when we finally meet the gorillas have been laid out in photo album/scrapbook style with brief captions so as not to take away from the photos themselves. This is a unique visual presentation, especially since by this time the reader is more than ready to see a gorilla. Overall, an interesting book, which I found more to my liking than did my son, who lost interest quite early, even though he does like gorillas. The other thing that perplexed me was the afterward by Leonardo DiCaprio. It's content is a repetition of the mountain gorilla's need for conserving its species (found in the book) and then reads like an advertisement for the book. There is no call for this afterward and that it is written by an actor hardly adds credibility.