“The Tale of Tumeleng” by Ms. Ryke Leigh Douglas is a beautifully written and heartwarming story that transports readers to the rainforests of Africa. The book opens with Jabari, a magnificent bull elephant, standing vigilantly in the dark. protecting his family and eagerly awaiting the birth of his calf—inviting readers to embark on an unforgettable journey that explores the lives of these extraordinary animals.
The next part describes Tumeleng’s birth and the celebration of the herd as they welcome a new member. First, however, Tumeleng must learn how to use her trunk, drink her mother’s milk without tripping over her trunk, and stay close to the herd. Through the story, Tumeleng grows and learns many essential things for survival.
What makes this book so special is the use of imagery and accessible writing style, making the book an enjoyable read for children and adults alike. She also incorporates important life lessons throughout Tumeleng’s journey—reminding readers of the importance of self-discovery and the power of community.
The writer, Ms. Douglas, has done a great job introducing children to the world of African elephants through this book. It offers valuable insights into the behavior of elephants and their interactions with each other in their herds. The descriptive language used by the author is appropriate for children and helps them grasp the concepts easily. The beautiful illustrations by Angel dela Peña add an extra layer of depth to the story with their vivid colors and intricate details. The characters are well-developed and endearing to children. In addition, the book highlights the significance of family and the older generation’s responsibility to teach and protect the younger ones.
Overall, “The Tale of Tumeleng” is an informative and entertaining book that will teach children about elephants and their life in the African rainforest. What makes it stand out is the author’s storytelling approach to educating about elephants. She presents the story in a way that is easy for children to understand, making it a perfect book for parents to read to their children. It would also make a great addition to any school library.
– The Moving Words Review
Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 4, 2020
About the Author
Ryke Leigh Douglas is a veteran educator devoted to helping children discover the joy of reading and the magic of books. She holds an M.A. as a reading specialist from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. Ms. Douglas strives to provide parents and teachers with entertaining stories that lend themselves to nurturing positive attitudes, good character traits, and creative thinking. When she isn’t writing Ms. Douglas enjoys visiting schools, museums, libraries and early learning centers to share her stories and encourage children to develop their own writing skills with a program she developed entitled The Writer’s Tool Box.