|Crickhollow Books, 2018|
There is no doubt that young readers (or readers of any age) will be drawn to the cover image. Sloths are currently the IT animals of social media, and this baby sloth, hugging a stuffed animal and nestled in the arms of a young girl, is downright irresistible.
This is the fourth book in the WAKA series (World Association of Kids and Animals). All are authored by and feature photographs by Cathleen Burnham. Emily, a ten year old girl living in Costa Rica, volunteers for a local agency, Kids Saving the Rainforest. In this case Emily has written and presented a play for the public and joined a group saving titi monkeys (squirrel monkeys) by building overhead rope routes for the troops of monkeys who travel freely throughout the village and the surrounding forest. Without those passages and adaptations, the monkeys would be killed crossing streets with heavy auto traffic or crossing on electric wiring overhead.
Photos of Emily include the cover above, collecting suitable leaves for animals in the sanctuary, and taking an abandoned baby sloth for a "walk" through the forest to sample edible leaves and develop survival skills for later release.
The author and publisher (Crickhollow Books) have developed a format and narrative non-fiction style that is informative and inspiring, inviting readers to return again and again. The narrative and back page make it clear, by example and without preaching, that kids have the capacity to positively impact their environments and improve the lives of animals who share those spaces with humans. The photo captions, sidebars, specific events, and irresistible animals make the books prime examples of nonfiction content, offering ideal material for framing questions, summarizing, doing further research, and exploring local possibilities for kid-activist engagement.
You can read about the story-behind-the-story of how these books came about from the documentary photographer/author HERE.
I've shared my thoughts about the previous titles in prior posts.
Book One- DOYLI to the RESCUE (Here),
Book Two- TORTUGA SQUAD (HERE), and
Book Three- TONY and His ELEPHANTS (HERE)
This is a series that merits everyone's attention and should be on library and classroom shelves. Each title, including this latest, offers entertainment and information across many ages and will quickly become reader-favorites.
Check out the books and related projects at WAKABooks.org.
You can also explore the Costa Rican nonprofit organization that helps Emily and other kids become empowered to help the environment and animals: Kids Saving the Rainforest.
I reviewed a publisher's copy and would like to share it. You can enter a giveaway by adding a comment about this or earlier WAKA/Burnham books in the series. Also, in a separate comment, share some ways you might use this book with kids. Each person commenting (from USA or Canada) will be entered in a random giveaway of a copy of the latest book, EMILY. Deadline for comments is Friday, October 5 at midnight, CDT. If your name is chose I'll contact you via email, and the winner's name will be added to this post after the drawing.
And the winner of the giveaway is ANNETTE! Thanks for reading and sharing the news about this great new book for kid-activists!