When animal hijackers capture his favorite tamarins, a young boy living near the Amazon rain forest in Ecuador comes to the rescue in this latest in the Tales of the World series.
Traveling by river to their camp in the rain forest, Eduardo and his father earn their living as castañeros, gathering heavy pods from Brazil nut trees and chopping them to collect the nuts. Eduardo has bonded with two playful tamarins called Tuki and Moko and a family of scarlet macaws that nest near the camp. The morning Eduardo and his father return to town with a boatload of nuts, they find the macaws, Tuki and Moko missing. Eduardo’s father suspects animal poachers. When Eduardo arrives at the town market, he follows the sound of familiar chattering into a tent where he discovers Tuki, Moko and macaws in cages and must use his wits to free them. With its pedagogical focus, the text touches on Brazil nut harvesting, unique rain-forest animals and rare-animal trafficking, and the author’s note elaborates on each. Smooth, photorealistic illustrations appear digitally rendered and effectively capture the drama of the rain forest and its verdant flora and exotic fauna through an arresting use of light, shadow, color and perspective.
This animal-poaching tale provides a purposive, engaging-enough introduction to Ecuador’s rain forests. (author’s note) (Picture book. 7-10)