Sunday, March 7, 2010

Miracle in Sumatra: The Story of Gutsy Gus

By Jeanne McNaney

Illustrated by David Cochard

From the book jacket:

“Deep in the lush, tropical jungles of Sumatra there lives a very special and courageous little orangutan named Gutsy Gus. One day, when Gus is out playing, his parents are captured by a group of trappers, and Gus sets out on a daring adventure to rescue them.”

Written for ages 4 to 8, the colors in this book pop out at you and do a great job of telling the story. It’s the tale of a young girl (Maya) who is turned into an orangutan by a guardian angel so she can help Gutsy Gus free his parents from the poachers.

Oddly enough, Maya’s parents are involved in the poaching.

There are quite a few messages in this book – believing in God and angels, caring for the animals in our world, having the courage to do what’s right.

It’s a book that’s well written and illustrated.

However, a 4 year old is probably too young to sit through this story. There are a lot of words and descriptions for an impatient little one who just wants to run and play. In my experience, I’ve found children that young tend to prefer books with only a few sentences per page.

I’m sure most 8-year-old children would enjoy it, as long as they aren’t prone to taking some of the graphic descriptions to heart and find them too scary. This is, after all, about the orangutans being captured, placed in cages and not treated very well.

It’s a good book, but I’d recommend parents read it first and consider their child’s maturity level before deciding if it’s right for them.

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