Children's Literature - Alexandria LaFaye
This book celebrates the Bosque Eterno de Los Ninos (The International Children's Rain Forest), the Costa Rican preserve that was established as the result of the efforts of children across the world. Supported by vibrant photographs, the informative and personal text places the reader in the forest itself. Through this wonderful combination of words and imagery, the book illustrates the exquisite beauty and diversity of the forest while demonstrating its profound ecological importance. Explaining the establishment of the forest, Patent shows the influence children can have on preserving the rain forests. She also provides an inspiring afterward telling child readers how they can become involved in this important ecological project.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6Patent offers her observations on the Bosque Eterno de los Nios in Costa Rica. Like many books about tropical rain forests, this one includes information about the ecosystem's basic structure and features several plants and animalsthe strangler fig, white-faced monkey, and toucan, among others. The author even includes an explanation of cloud forests, a topic that most similar books ignore. She notes that there are differences among rain forests, and also explains their importance to the global ecology. Yet she does not ignore the economic and social forces that compel people to cut them down as they seek self-preservation. Patent discusses the history and current activities of those involved in establishing and supporting the International Children's Rain Forest, and encourages readers to consider how they, too, can contribute. At the same time, she does not make solutions sound easy. Perlman's full-color photographs help bring the area to life. Together with the text, they affirm the beauty and fragility of these rapidly disappearing tropical environments. This book provides information not only for report writers, but also for those wanting to satisfy personal curiosity on the subject.Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN
A mild rendition of the story of the International Children's Rain Forest, so named because thus far, 42,000 acres of Costa Rican forest have been purchased and preserved through the fund-raising efforts of children.
In a departure from her usual style, Patent (Hugger to the Rescue, 1994, etc.) brings immediacy to her journey with a first- person narration in the first and last chapters. But the book is not as focused as many of her works. Despite the title, the children's efforts are not thoroughly discussed until the middle of the book, and then in no more detail than can be found in magazine articles. Patent's arguments as to why tropical rain forests should be saved are somewhat weak and not particularly unique to those habitats. Inserts in the chapters highlighting particular animals or plants convey information but also break up the flow of the main story. Perlman's full-color photographs are exquisite and capture some of the enormous variety of plant and animal life there; still, the pictures lose some of their impact when readers are invited, in the afterword, to buy rain forest greeting cards from Perlman, with a portion of the profits going toward preservation of the rain forest. Patent also suggests that readers raise money by holding bake sales and car washes, collecting pennies, etc. That children preserved part of a rain forest will empower readers, but the fund- raising message may be a bit overreaching.