It takes a few pages to catch the rhythm of naturalist George's new book, but once readers do, they'll find themselves drawn in. Set on the banks of the Orinoco River, the fictionalized tale chronicles the efforts of Tepui, an Indian boy, to help a group of scientists find a new species of butterfly, thereby saving the Venezuelan rain forest from being bulldozed into oblivion. The tension created by this literary device--which in the hands of a less skillful writer could have appeared contrived--adds considerable impact to this timely, well-wrought work. George imparts an amazing amount of information about these fast-disappearing tracts of land as she carefully describes the delicate ecological balance of exotic flora and fauna--from flesh-eating army ants to the vast colonies of butterflies that flutter high above the canopy of trees. Children will come away from this book not only with a satisfying story, but more importantly, with a clear understanding of why these areas are worth preserving. Ages 9 - 12. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990 Release date: 04/01/1990 Genre: Children's
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