This is a beautifully illustrated story about life on the banks of the Tapajós River, one of the largest rivers in the Amazon rainforest. It is located in the Brazilian State of Pará. A young child shares his daily life with readers. Living in a rainforest would be a magical experience for me. One of my favorite places in Puerto Rico is El Yunque rainforest. Close to my home, I visited often. I'm a nature lover. One day in the rainforest is totally intoxicating. Waterfalls, wildlife, solitude...enchanting! Living in an Amazon rainforest is certainly a massive comparison to visiting a rainforest for one day. Fernando Vilela's storybook is a lovely armchair adventure for those adventurous little souls. Pink dolphins, anacondas, and alligators also frolic in the Amazon. While I'd love to swim with a pink dolphin, I'm not crazy about large reptilian species. As a native of Louisiana, I am quite used to swimming amongst alligator, but I don't make it a habit. I prefer the clear Caribbean water. Not many dangerous species in Puerto Rico. It's absolutely refreshing to walk in tall grass without having to worry about cotton mouths or a handful of other slithering creatures.
So...back to Pará and life along the Tapajós. Vilela delivers a world of wonder. The illustrations are frame-worthy. Young readers get a sense of life along a river that changes with the seasons. Winters are warm, yet constant rain forces villagers to relocate to higher ground. One doesn't simply call a moving van and schlep to the suburbs here. Everyone travels by boat and lives in a house on stilts. It's a very different way of life. I think it's important for children to understand how others live. Our world is unique and diverse. Coexisting with nature is something we should all learn to appreciate.