Brother and sister risk the dangers of a flood and animals to rescue their pet tortoise.
Siblings Cauã and Inaê live on the banks of Brazil’s Tapajós River, one of the biggest in the Amazon rainforest. Like many other children, they wake up, travel via boat to school, and come back home. However, each year, when the rains begin and the river rises enough to cover whole houses, the entire town packs up and travels down the river to a safer location, leaving only their houses behind. Spreads with furious rain, similar to Daniel Miyares’ Float (2015), signal overpowering change to the town. The calm after the storm brings the community’s cyclical move inland as they “unload everything from the boat and put it on the oxcart.” Brazilian author/illustrator Vilela and translator Hahn share the story of a brother and sister, who, realizing they left pet tortoise Titi behind, decide to row all day, back to their mostly underwater village, and recover him. However, the unexpected dangers lurking in the water, jungle, and abandoned village might risk their rescue mission. The vibrant colors in Vilela’s illustrations and the expressive faces of Cauã and Inaê bring lightheartedness to their dangerous journey and the cyclical living it prescribes. This is neatly encapsulated in the endpapers, which depict bright birds perched on the struts of the platform supporting the village in the front and fish swimming among those selfsame struts in the rear.
A riveting journey. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)