Books: The Beasts as Heroes

BANDOOLA (256 pp.) — J. H. Williams —Doubleday ($3.50).

COORINNA (181 pp.) — Erie Wilson —Random House ($2.75).

Modern literature is well-stocked with humans who act like beasts; two new books feature beasts who act almost human. Bandoola stars a Burmese elephant, Coorinna a Tasmanian wolf. Both are good company, but Bandoola has the edge since it tells the engaging true story of the most notable work elephant in modern Burmese history, as pieced together and witnessed by James H. (Elephant Bill] Williams. Bandoola's onetime overseer.

Author Williams introduces his hero right in the maternity ward. A calving elephant has an "auntie" or sister...

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