Along the Tapajós

AmazonCrossing/Amazon/. Oct. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781542008686.
PreS-Gr 2–This import depicts the life of Cauã and Inaê, two siblings living on the banks of the Tapajó river in the Amazonian region of Brazil. In the mornings, after a breakfast of banana porridge, their friend Zé takes them to school in his boat. Along the way they encounter many animals that make their home along the river, including alligators and porpoises. When they finally get to school and it starts to rain, readers get to meet the real main character in this story: rain. Rain, they will find out, rules the lives of the inhabitants of the region. By the time the children get back home, their parents have loaded all their belongings onto a boat and are ready to leave. Every year when the rains come, the whole village moves to higher ground, leaving their houses behind. This year, after the move, the children realize they have left their pet tortoise behind and, risking the rising waters and a giant anaconda, return to rescue it. Employing mixed woodcut techniques with drawing and collage, award-winning Brazilian author and illustrator Vilela brings to life the lush setting of the story. The images are vibrant and full of movement, the heavy black outlines contributing to the drama.
VERDICT This beautiful book belongs in all picture book collections, specially given the dearth of books about the inhabitants of the Amazon region.

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