A jaguar family must move from its area in the Amazon to a safer part, untouched by human machines, in this plea to save the rainforest.
Inti lives with his mother and sister, Chasca, in the Amazon rainforest. Giving a basic description of life as a jaguar cub through Inti’s voice, Ely (The Peaceable Forest, 2012) spends several pages of this picture book getting readers comfortable with the setting and enjoying the tranquility of the animals. But one day, everything changes with the appearance of “A sky machine! That means danger,” as Inti’s mother explains. Debut illustrator Gendron deftly captures the devastation; in contrast to the lush forest, the cleared land, logging machines, and pipeline are disturbingly out of place. Following their mother, Inti and Chasca deal with a poisoned river, farmland, and nightmares until reaching a safe new home. Although the playfulness in the jaguars’ expressions seems out of place in such a serious context, the details in their fur, the biodiversity of the landscape, and the beautiful colors make the gorgeous images worth returning to. A partial map of South America shows some of the rainforest’s vibrant residents, and a list of featured animals with short descriptions provides the audience with a delightful seek-and-find game to play. Ely’s text is at times intense and overly earnest, and her choice of Incan names for the modern-day Amazonians is an odd one. But the message resonates, and young environmentalists will likely gravitate to the cubs.
An excellent new tale reiterating an old—but still relevant—ecological issue.