This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Keeling!
Written by Jeanne McNaney and illustrated by David Cochard, Miracle in Sumatra: The Story of Gutsy Gus is one of the most original picture books that I’ve read. Gabriella, the guardian angel of the Sumatra forest, transforms a young girl named Maya into an orangutan to help Gus the orangutan rescue his parents and to help the adult humans understand the devastation caused by animal trade and deforestation. The story introduces religious elements into what I would typically consider a legend-style narrative. The illustrations are colorful, with highly expressive faces, but they contain a couple of inconsistencies. At one point the story says that a man is hanging over a “raging waterfall”, but the illustration shows him dangling above two crocodiles in still water, and Maya’s outfit changes from t-shirt and jeans at the start of the book to a dress at the end. The style of illustration is one that I could see appealing to a wide age range of children. There is a lot of text, more than my kids were willing to sit through at their current ages (two and nearly four). They did, however, enjoy looking at the pictures while I narrated an abbreviated version of the story – and I think an older child would enjoy hearing the book or reading it on their own.
I think the book could be enhanced by including an educational section at the back with a few scientific facts, as I have found in several other books on similar topics. You can find more information on these topics through the book website. As it stands, the book is a great way to get children thinking about the impacts of animal trade and deforestation, and it encourages young people to stand up for others.
I received a copy of this book to review, and I have been offered a second copy as a giveaway. I’m excited to say that this giveaway is open WORLDWIDE! To enter:
- Tell me why you are interested in this book (mandatory entry)
- Tell me which of the charities listed at the book website you find most interesting (1 extra entry)
- Follow this blog (1 extra entry)
- Subscribe to this blog via email (1 extra entry)
You can leave separate comments, or you can tell me which things you did in a single comment – I’ll compile all entries into a spreadsheet to choose the winner so it doesn’t matter to me which one you do.
This giveaway runs until 9am US Eastern Time on February 15th, at which point I will choose a winner via random.org.