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Book Review: Jungle Adventures 

Title: Jungle Adventures (Pittsburg-Pennsylvannia: Rosedog Books. 2011)
Author: George Njimele
Reviewer: Ntemfac N. Ofege
No. Pages: 134 (Paperback) ISBN: 978-1-4349-8409-8, eISBN: 978-1-4349-7400-6.
http:// Library of Congress Number No. 2010943165
Price: Paperback $17 (circa FCFA 7650)
Not yet available in Cameroon

Whenever a novel opens with something like, ‘Once upon a time, in some distant jungle, there lived a lion called Muna and a lioness called Waka,’ those used to novellas for children like Alice in Wonderland, Tarzan and the Apes, Brier Rabbit, etc, hearken. Others, of greater sophistication, recoil wondering if the pesky Squealer, Napoleon and Snowball and the other allegedly persecuted quadrupeds in the satirical Animal Farm have resurrected to visit another rebellion on the still tyrannical and inhumane man.

Njimele George’s Jungle Adventures is rather straightforward, yet racy. Its major contribution is the stimulating insight it presents about the life in the jungle. Two beastly lions were terribly hungry. They went a-hunting and they came upon an ancient and a sickly monkey. The lioness fell to but the lion, in his pride, would have nothing to do with…a terminally ill, albeit venerated, monkey!

All is going vibrantly well in the jungle with Waka the vile lioness murdering her own daughter for fear that she might warm herself into the manly graces of her spouse and with Waka and Muna double-teaming to slay a water buffalo, which they devour; the works. With the buffalo digested, the lions now turn their attention on the Number One Biggie – the noisome humans loitering in the jungle. They even kill one of them. They continue their infamy until pandemonium reigns as someone drops a bomb in the forest in a bid to slay the killer lions!

Actually, the porcupine it was who triggered the device! Along the side, the ever cunning and scheming tortoise, despite the small size of him, is plotting to become King of the Jungle by false pretences as usual. And so it is that this neat bunch of losers in this other jungle create a school under the baobab to improve their lot. In this far-out establishment, the ‘cronies were taught religion, compliance, peace, and animal rights.

The whole instruction process was the sole task of the dog, under the supervision of the tortoise. Teaching was free. All student-animals were asked to respect nutrition laws, which prohibit the eating of meat. Turd-eating was encouraged.’ But the jungle is the jungle where anarchy reigns supreme. In 17-chapters and 132 pages, Njimele spins a fine yarn; a fascinating book and a breathless story, well told.

George Njimele is a well-known children’s writer in Cameroon with three of his plays prescribed for classroom study by Cameroon’s Ministry for Basic Education. He teaches English and French and holds a B.A (Hons) in English and French studies from the University of Buea. Njimele started writing at an early age. He won a National Prize for poetry, and is hailed for his dazzling writing skills and enviable power of invention.

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