Title: One Day in the Tropical RainforestOne-Day
Author: Jean Craighead George
Illustrator: Gary Allen
Pages: 66
Reading Level: 9 & up
Star Rating: ★★★

One Day in the Tropical Rain Forest, written by Jean Craighead George, is a part of a series in which Ms. George explores different ecologies through the camping/hiking adventures of young people. In this particular chapter book, Tepui helps a team of natural scientists find a previously unknown butterfly species and thereby saves the Tropical Rain Forest of the Macaw from being chopped down.

Here are a few things that I learned from One Day in the Tropical Rain Forest.

  • Did you know that certain species of moths and beetles can only survive by living in the fur of a sloth?
  • Did you know that soldier termites can shoot a noxious chemical at their enemies?
  • Did you know that female sloths carry baby sloths either inside or outside all of her adult life?

Discussion.

The Tropical Rain Forest had more of an environmental flavor than any of the other books in the One Day series. The idea is that if Tepui and his friends do not find an unidentified species in the Forest, then it will be cut down and the land used for farming. If Tepui does find an unidentified species, then a wealthy industrialist will buy the forest and it will be saved from the horrid chainsaws for happily-ever-after. Of course, Tepui finds the new species, and there is much rejoicing at the salvation of the forest.

But there is more than that – Ms. George includes a heart-tugging description of global warming and its effects on the environment. And in one scene, Tepui declares that his people could not live without the forest because they would “die of boredom without the forest. We need to see and think about thousands of creatures each day to be healthy.” [pg. 41] ?!?!?

Ms. George also says that

The tropical rain forests are so old, they felt tremors when the Sierra Nevada mountains were uplifted. And they are so young that new species are even now evolving in their warmth and moisture. [pg. 10]

Conclusion. Interesting, but leaning more towards environmentalism than the other books in the One Day series.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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