Published by Candlewick
Summary: “Every morning the rain forest calls to Zonia.” Off she goes with her animal friends: playing hide-and-seek, running races, and lying quiet and still. After a day with the animals, she’s ready to return to her parents and baby brother. On the way home, though, she stumbles upon something she’s never seen before: the severed stumps of trees that have been cut down. She tells her mother that the forest needs help, and her mother says it is calling to her. “‘Then I will answer,’ says Zonia, ‘as I always do.’” Includes additional information about the Asháninka, the largest indigenous group living in the Peruvian rain forest; a few facts about the Amazon; threats to the Amazon; and Zonia’s animal friends in order of appearance. Spanish version also available: La Selva de Zonia. 40 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: This is sure to be a hit with any child who loves animals. Zonia’s life in the rain forest looks like a lot of fun, and the animals are beautifully rendered. The environmental message is delivered delicately, then reinforced with the excellent back matter. Another Caldecott contender!
Cons: I hate to mention it with all the excellent back matter, but I would have liked to have seen a map.