I think I may have run out of words for a while, in which case you can have a book review that I wrote months ago.
By Virginia Hamilton
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Rundi Jaguarundi and his friend, Coati Coatimundi are worried. Their jungle home is being cleared to make way for farms and fields for cattle grazing, and everywhere they turn, it seems there are men with dogs or traps.
One day, Rundi decides he’s had enough of running and hiding from the humans, so he and Coati gather together their friends and decide who is going to stay and hide, and who will travel away north across the Rio Bravo, searching for a new home.
Yeah. Another kids’ book with loads of pictures.
And to be honest, the pictures are the only reason I think I kept this book, since I kind of hate the storyline. It’s a very trimmed down ecologically-based story about how people are destroying the world…and while I am still for trying to protect animals and the environment, I really hate the way those stories play out in kids’ books. Environmental issues are complicated, and in a kids’ book the only way they ever come out is “people are evil.” Not that his message doesn’t come out in adult-oriented environmental stories…(see, for example, Oryx and Crake).
But there are pictures of jungle animals, and I like those a lot. This is a good book (though there must be better ones out there) for kids who love animals, especially if they’re like I was as a child, and have a thing for weird animals like taryas and coatimundis.
On the other hand, this book would probably also be an annoyance to parents of such children, especially is the child ever discovers that things like the World Wildlife Federation exists. I distinctly remember asking (often) for my parents to send money to save the animals…and then I grew up and quite recently sent twenty dollars to help protect the grey wolves, and as a result have wildlife protection organizations sending me informative letters and petitions and free return address labels every few weeks.
So if you’d like to save your child from being inundated with return address labels, and save yourself from being pestered to save the rainforests, then avoid this book and others like it. If you are okay with that though…good for you 🙂