Review: The Herd Boy by Niki Daly

safari park river: LadyD Books

safari park cactus: LadyD Books

We are so fortunate to have the San Diego Safari Park nearby. We love the San Diego Zoo Safari Park because of its emphasis is on conservation and making a difference in the lives of endangered animals. These photos are for SkyWatch Friday. The following pictures were taken with the Nikon D200 of some awesome animals in beautiful surroundings. I think they go well with this children's book I'm reviewing today. I love the sights and sounds of Africa.

curved horn deer: LadyD Books

three tall giraffes: LadyD

mother and baby elephant: LadyD Books

lioness: LadyD Books

lion and lioness: LadyD Books


big horn sheep: LadyD Books
waterfall at the san diego safari park: LadyD Books

grass hutch at the san diego safari park: LadyD Books
the herd boy by niki daly

What the book is about

Malusi is a herd boy. It is a big job for a small boy, yet he does it well, no matter the danger. But he also dreams of being more than a herd boy someday: Malusi wants to be president.
This simple but poignant story explores the idea that many great leaders have come from humble beginnings. Perhaps what gives someone the strength and integrity to lead well isn't so different from what it takes to be a good herd boy.

My Thoughts

Loved it! A beautifully written story, taking the reader on a deep journey into Africa. Malusi is a small boy with a huge responsibility of keeping his grandfather's sheep and goats safe. There's lots of action in the beginning with seeing an eagle, avoiding ravines and finding baboons along the overhanging cliff face. As the story builds, we learn that Lungisa who is Malusi's older friend with his own dog laughs at Malusi's dream to be president, while his sister Zolika is supportive. Later on, a hurting lamb is rescued from a baboon by the little dog, Koko and the small herd boy.  A warm, inspirational  ending (I won't tell) and the morals that come across in the story of friendship, bravery, leadership, and love are found here. I like the pace of the story because it makes for a smooth read. The amount of research is impressive with a glossary in the end notes, plus the author's warm illustrations add further appeal to the book. I really do think a lot of people, of all ages, would like this story.

5/5 stars. Highly recommend. Sensational!

The Herd Boy

Thank you, Rachel Bomberger, from Eerdmans Publishing Co. for the privilege of reviewing this beautiful book. Best wishes and much continued success to Niki Daly.

About The Author

Niki Daly has written and illustrated a number of award-winning picture books, including Pretty Salma (Clarion), Ruby Sings the Blues (Bloomsbury), and Jamela's Dress (Frances Lincoln). Niki lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Although there are 48 pages to this Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, here's my entry this week:

The Page 56
"Though our childhoods may appear accidental - some luckier than others - they so often seem custom-made for the adults we become. So I ask, "What is there in the life of a herd boy that would help prepare him to become the shepherd of a nation?" -- Niki Daly

tree with red leaves at safari park: LadyD Books

Photo for Color Connection (Red tree at the Safari Park)

African Praise
African Rain  African Children's Song

Have a wonderful weekend,






 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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