Title: Doyli to the Rescue (Saving Baby Monkeys in the Amazon) | Author & Photographer: Cathleen Burnham | Publication Date: March 25, 2015 | Publisher: Crickhollow Books | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 10 | Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)
Summary: In Doyli to the Rescue: Saving Baby Monkeys in the Amazon, 10-year-old Doyli, with the help of her family, rescues endangered, orphaned monkeys from the perils of native hunters and the black market. She carries the rescued animals home to her island home in the Peruvian Amazon, where she nurtures them with her strong medicine of love and nourishing food.
When the little monkey orphans are old enough and strong enough, she releases them back to their natural habitat: the Amazon rainforest.
This is the first book in Burnham’s WAKA (World Association of Kids and Animals) series, photodocumentary books for young readers that highlight wildlife preservation efforts being undertaken by kids around the globe. The stories of personal commitment and environmental activism in projects led by youngsters offer inspiration to all who work to protect animals and preserve their habitats.
There is a free teacher’s guide available at the WAKA series website: WAKABooks.org.
1. What is the book about? This book is about a girl, Doyli, who saves monkeys in the Amazon forest in Peru. There is also lots information and pictures that show what life is like in the Amazon forest.
2. What do you think of the book cover and the images inside the book? The photos were good and the monkeys were adorable. My favorites were the ones of the animals and the forest.
3. What are your favorite parts of the book? I really liked the part where the monkey thief gets caught by the police and they put him in jail. I liked learning about Doyli and how she rescues monkeys.
4. What did you learn about life in the Amazon forest? It seems like living in the Amazon can be dangerous because there are snakes and caimans and jaguars and that there are a lot of monkeys. They travel in canoes on the Amazon and they get their water from the Amazon. I also learned about how they are cutting down all of the trees in the Amazon and that is a very bad thing. The book also says that sometimes the kids can’t afford to go to school. That’s sad.
5. If you could travel anywhere in the world to rescue animals, where would you go and what animal(s) would you try to rescue? I would travel to Australia and rescue koalas for sure!
6. Overall, what did you think about the book and how many stars would you give it? It was a very interesting book. I like books about facts and especially books about animals, but I don’t like it when they mix facts with a story, so I would give it 4 stars.
7. Who do you think would like this book? I think monkeys would like this book – just kidding! I think kids who are young like, younger than me, and their parents would like this book (and people who like monkeys).
My Thoughts: In this visually stunning and beautifully laid out picture book, we are introduced to 10 year-old Doyli who lives in a small isolated village in Peru. In many ways, Doyli is like every other child: she does her chores, goes to school, and she accompanies her uncle to market to purchase supplies for her family. But Doyli is also an animal activist and well-known animal rescuer within her community.
Doyli and her Uncle Gilberto rescue baby monkeys who are orphaned (for a variety of reasons) or held captive, and bring them into their home where they receive tender loving care. Doyli prepares special formulas and platefuls of fresh fruit for the young monkeys and lovingly nurses them to full health. She also plays with them and cuddles them so they feel safe and secure. I love her loving and compassionate nature.
Cleverly woven within this story are some of the challenges faced by the indigenous people of Peru. The author tells the story through Doyli’s eyes who witnesses evidence of the devastation of the Amazon forest (home to the monkeys she loves so dearly) with images of large barges filled with logs and charred and smoking patches of land cleared for farming. There are also mentions of the lack of access to education for young children in the Amazon and the challenges faced by children living in remote, isolated communities.
In the climax to the story, Doyli encounters a man in the market who is selling a baby spider monkey. We learn that baby monkeys are stolen from their parents (who are usually killed in the process) and sold to humans who often don’t have the expertise nor resources to keep them alive. As a result the buying and selling of monkeys is illegal in Peru. Doyli is a true hero in this story!
One of the things I loved the most about this book (aside from Doyli who is such a great role model) are the snippets of information about the Peruvian culture and specifically life in more remote areas in the Amazon forest. For example, we learn that these small communities have no running water nor electricity and that the local school can be a long boat ride (in a dugout canoe!) away. We also learn about all the different varieties of monkeys in the Amazon as well as the caimans, tapirs, sloths, and river dolphins. In a mouthwatering section of the book, the author tantalizes us with mentions and images of local food such as hot chilis, sweet potatoes, and sugarcane. There is a tremendous amount of educational value to this wonderful little book.
And then there are the gorgeous photographs accompanying the text. The images in the story are absolutely gorgeous and they help the reader feel like they are right beside Doyli experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells of her community. There are images of Doyli engaging in various behaviors related to the story as well as many, many images of the adorable monkeys and other animals mentioned in the story. The multitude of photographs have made me fall in love with Doyli and her Peru! The way the photos and text are arranged in this book is simply of the highest quality I have run across since we started our website.
My Bottom Line: Doyli to the Rescue: Saving Baby Monkeys in the Amazon is a visual delight! The images and layout of the book are absolutely spectacular and you can’t help but fall in love with the young activist and animal rescuer, Doyli. This book has tremendous educational value, is visually stunning, and Doyli is such an amazing inspiration and role model for tweens. I highly recommend this book to children ages 3 to 8 and I believe this book would make a great addition to a school classroom or library.
* This book was provided to me by the author through our Editorial Review service in exchange for our honest reviews. All opinions expressed are our own. *
About the Author: Cathleen Burnham
Cathleen Burnham is an experienced travel and wildlife photojournalist. She has done assignments across the globe from Africa to Southeast Asia, from South and Central America to Europe. She is an author of a number of books, including this six-book series, the WAKA series (World Association of Kids and Animals), profiling real kids around the world who are actively engaged in local wildlife conservation on a grassroots, community-based level. She lives in Pittsford, New York, a suburb of Rochester. (Doyli is the first book in the series; other titles to be released 2015 and early 2016).
Join us this Friday, June 5, 2015 when we interview Cathleen Burnham about her book, her writing and more!