Davies, Nicola Manatee Rescue, 95 pgs Candlewick, 2015. $14.99. Content: Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G Violence: PG
Manuela and her father are hunting for fish on the river when they find a rare manatee and her calf. They kill the mom to take back to their village, and Manuela decides to rescue its baby calf. It’s a big task to take care of the baby and keep it safe. Eventually everyone in the village takes a hand in its care and its popularity grows. The village decides to no longer hunt and kill Manatees.
This book is based on a true story which provides hope for change. The author use’s wonderfully descriptive language to bring the river and the village alive, using many authentic words and definitions. But animal stories are not my cup of tea (that is an understatement), and this one is particularity gruesome and I feel extremely down after reading it (despite the happy ending). I am sure there are young readers who would enjoy the save the animals theme and the cover is very appealing but I think it’s a bit harsh for my readers. (I prefer the Gill Lewis fiction).
EL – OPTIONAL Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.