This kids’ book introduces readers to the colorful, exotic world of the Costa Rican jungle through the eyes of an iguana.
Daniel, an iguana, lives a happy life in the rain forest. He enjoys relaxing on a branch in the sun, eating leaves, and smelling the flowers. His favorite saying is “Pura vida” (“pure life”), a term that reflects the cultural idea that one should live a happy and relaxed existence. Daniel has a few friends who agree with his philosophy, such as Vivi the butterfly, Garcia the sloth, and Linda and Carlos, two other iguanas. However, he also knows animals that don’t seem interested in this lifestyle, such as Hannah the toucan, Julian the howler monkey, Arnoldo the grackle, and Alba and Peyton, a jaguar and an ocelot. Despite their occasional urgings for Daniel to change his behavior, the iguana decides in the end that he’s happy with his life and with himself, and that’s good enough. The book introduces a particular philosophy of self-acceptance, but what it does best is show readers the incredible world of the rain forest. Drawn in bold, bright colors, the illustrations bring the jungle and its inhabitants to life. Set against a background of tall trees and brilliant flowers, readers see Daniel interact with gorgeous creatures in all parts of his environment. Garcia hangs languidly from his tree; birds fly in front of a brilliant blue sky with white clouds; and an osprey hovers above an iridescent river, into which Daniel dives. From the subtle blushes of the flowers to the incredible detail of Vivi the butterfly’s wings, each page of this book could be a painting in itself. Overall, the vivid illustrations and charming story are the perfect way to expose children to the incredible vibrancy and unique habitat of the rain forest.
A gorgeous portrayal of a relaxing life in the wilderness.