The Shaman's Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest

The Shaman's Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest

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by Mark J. Plotkin, Lynne Cherry
     
 

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In a Tirio village deep in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, the shaman Nahtahlah has a place of honor in his tribe. Young Kamanya wants to learn the healing secrets of the forest plants--he hopes that he, too, will become the tribe’s shaman, so that he can cure his people. When the villagers fall sick with an illness that Nahtahlah cannot cure, many lose… See more details below

Overview

In a Tirio village deep in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, the shaman Nahtahlah has a place of honor in his tribe. Young Kamanya wants to learn the healing secrets of the forest plants--he hopes that he, too, will become the tribe’s shaman, so that he can cure his people. When the villagers fall sick with an illness that Nahtahlah cannot cure, many lose faith in the shaman’s wisdom--until a foreign woman helps them understand its value while giving Kamanya an opportunity to realize his dream. Lynne Cherry returns to the rain forest with ethnobotanist Mark J. Plotkin to tell an important story about the healing plants of the earth-and why we must protect them.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Steve Lavis looks at animals foreign and domestic with two Peek-Through Board Books. On the Farm follows the wooly sheep as he searches out who has eaten its breakfast. As each page is turned, more animals become visible through the die-cut spaces. The culprits are found behind the tractor. In the Jungle follows the same format, only this time a crocodile is in hiding. "Here I am!" shouts the crocodile on the last spread. Then he asks, "Who wants to hide next?" ( Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Karen Porter
Kwamala, a native boy in the Amazon rain forest, is cured by the village shaman. Remembering the power of the shaman, Kwamala spends his childhood as the shaman's pupil. When missionaries introduce western diseases and western medicines, the villagers lose respect for the shaman. However, Gabriella, a Western scientist, seeks the shaman's help in researching the Amazon forests. She explains the value of native medicines to the villagers, and the shaman's place in their society is restored, and Kwamala grows up to be the next village shaman. While the story is told from Kwamala's perspective, it is clear that the book is more about western interactions with natives and their forests than about the life of the boy. It is the detailed and colorful illustrations more than the story itself that will draw the attention of children.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4In the Amazon rain forest, Kamanya describes how the shaman cures his fever with a mixture of leaves, roots, and bark. As he grows older, Kamanya follows Nahtahlah while he gathers plants for medicines. When the shaman's medicine cannot cure malaria and that of white missionaries can, the Tirio people turn away from traditional cures as well as from their familiar gods. The missionaries bring major changes to the lives of the Tirio, and extend a welcome to traders who carry away the forest's wildlife. Some years after the missionaries leave, an ethnobotanist arrives to learn about forest medicines from Nahtahlah. Her work, culminating in a book describing the plants and their uses, restores the people's respect for the wise man. Although some books about rain forests mention the current and potential importance of medicinal plants, this work enlivens and personalizes the topic. Based on a true story from Plotkin's Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice (Penguin, 1994), this picture book effectively introduces readers to another issue related to rain-forest loss. Cherry's watercolors are filled with flora and fauna and reveal her appreciation for this environment and its people.Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN
"The outstanding natural history and environmental title of the year." -- Smithsonian
S. A. Montgomery
"The best children's book on the rain forest ever published." -- Boston Globe

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547544915
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/01/1998
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
687,852
Lexile:
AD890L (what's this?)
File size:
58 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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