By Mary Tavener Holmes

Think a giraffe which could sail from Alexandria, Egypt, to Marseille, France, in a ship with a distinct gap for her neck. think a giraffe that may stroll from Marseille to Paris in 41 days, donning trendy boots and a cape. think a giraffe that captures the eye of one hundred thousand spectators in Paris as she parades throughout the urban, inspiring work, poetry, porcelain designs, or even an unique coiffure. think Belle, a present from the pasha of Egypt to the king of France in 1827, a giraffe who made historical past. This ebook offers Belle’s precise tale, instructed within the imagined phrases of her dedicated Sudanese caretaker, Atir, who observed her on her trip to Paris and stayed along with her until her dying eighteen years later. Illustrated with artifacts and work from the 19th century and with Jon Cannell’s jaunty paintings, Belle’s awesome tale either captivates and informs. An author’s observe and pronunciation consultant are integrated.

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Cuba was ruled by Spain for many years but gained independence in the 1890s. The bright green emerald tree boa is native to the Amazon Basin of South America. 13 © David A. Northcott/Corbis 11 8 5 7 6 10 3 2 1 SE A 12 4 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. © Richard T. Nowitz/Corbis 60 RCH LI T GH 9 True or false? a) Christopher Columbus landed in South America. b) South America was once connected to Africa. c) South America is attached to North America. SOUTH AMERICA The Unknown S Contine nt cientists believe that millions of years ago South America and Africa were part of the same ancient landmass now known as Gondwanaland.

Although making sugar from cane is still important, many factories have been closed. Tourism is now the largest source of income for Cuba. Cubans speak Spanish, and the country’s culture reflects its Spanish background. The island was claimed for Spain by Christopher Columbus in 1492 and was ruled by Spain until the 1890s. African culture has also influenced Cuba. Many Africans were taken to the island long ago to work as slaves on the sugar plantations. DID YOU Cuba saw major changes when Fidel Castro took over the government in 1959.

It is about 50 miles long. The Panama Canal can cut thousands of miles from a ship’s voyage. Ships traveling between the east and west coasts of the United States, for example, can shorten their trip by more than 9,000 miles. Without the canal, they would have to go around the southern tip of South America. Many different kinds of goods are shipped through the canal. Thousands of ships carry more than 200 million tons of cargo through it each year. The most important goods include petroleum and grains.

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