Thursday, February 18, 2010
I love children's books that focus on conservation of the environment, teach global awareness, and teach them about endangered animals. Recently I was sent a review copy of “Miracle in Sumatra: The Story of Gutsy Gus” (Ovation Books, October 2009, 978-0-9814534-6-0); here's what I thought of it:
Here's a summary from the publisher:
In “Miracle in Sumatra,” author Jeanne McNaney follows Gus, a young orangutan as he discovers his parents have been trapped by hunters who have come to Sumatra to hunt the orangutan. With the help of his friends, Maya, a little girl, and Gabriella, the guardian of the jungle, Gus sets out to save his parents and teach the trappers about the importance of their natural habitat in Sumatra.
Any book that brings attention to the plight of endangered animals and teaches children about the importance of global conservation is welcome in our home! The gorgeous cover illustration and the fun, colorful comic-book illustrations inside really invite kids to pick this book and open it up. The story is long enough for older children (and there's enough action and suspense to keep them entertained), but the simple language makes it appropriate even for younger readers. Also, I think even young children will be able to relate to the plight of Gus and Maya; my kids certainly did. More importantly, I'm hoping they will find inspiration in Maya's actions and realize they are not too young to speak up and make a difference.
I don't mind having angels in the story, especially since Gabriella, the angel, looks more like a Balinese princess than a biblical seraphim, but the constant reference to doing God's Will is sure to turn off parents who are not of the Christian faith -- which is a real pity, because I think eco-responsibility is a moral value that transcends any one religion, and the story would have just as powerful without any religious undertones.
The Bottom Line
If you don't mind the religious references, this is a good book to reinforce the message of global awareness, conservation, and the power of one person to make a difference.
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will receive a copy of "Miracle in Sumatra: The Story of Gutsy Gus". To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me which endangered animal is closest to your heart.
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Win a copy of "Miracle in Sumatra" from @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/ybtngne
Maximum of 6 entries per person. This giveaway ends at midnight PST on March 4, 2010; I will draw a winner at random on March 5 and post the winner's name as soon as the winner confirms acceptance. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclaimer: . I received a review copy of the book in order to review it, but no monetary compensation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.