cover image Tuki and Moka: A Tale of Two Tamarins

Tuki and Moka: A Tale of Two Tamarins

Judy Young, illus. by Jim Madsen. Sleeping Bear, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58536-795-5

In this adventurous addition to the Tales of the World series, Young (A Pet for Miss Wright) takes readers to Ecuador, where a boy named Eduardo and his castañero father hunt for Brazil nuts to be sold at market. Eduardo is accompanied by Tuki and Moka, a pair of playful wild tamarins (small monkeys); during their travels, father and son notice several other native animals, including macaws, a tapir, and a large rodent called an agouti. One morning, Eduardo discovers that the macaws’ tree has been cut down, the birds likely stolen by animal traffickers; at the market, he learns that the traffickers have also taken the two tamarins, and he attempts a risky rescue. Young includes many details about Eduardo’s life in Ecuador, including the reality of animal trafficking, although the dialogue can be overly expository (“Brazil nut trees grow only in the rainforest and there are no roads here,” the boy tells his father). Madsen’s (Marvin Makes Music) illustrations are well-suited to the drama of the story and its lush setting, his craquelure-textured images glowing with light filtered through the rainforest trees. Ages 6–10. (Aug.)