Along the Tapajós

by Fernando Vilela (Author) Fernando Vilela (Illustrator)

Along the Tapajós
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
  • A USBBY Outstanding International Book
  • An Amazon Best Book of 2019 in the Ages 6-8 category
  • A Junior Library Guild Selection
  • A Capitol Choices Book

Cauã and Inaê are a brother and sister who live in a small community along the Tapajós River in Brazil. Here, the homes are on stilts and everyone travels around by boat--even to school! When the rainy season comes, they must leave their village and relocate to higher ground for a while. But after moving this year, Cauã and Inaê realize they've left behind something important: their pet tortoise, Titi! Unlike turtles, tortoises can't swim, and Cauã and Inaê are really worried. So the pair sneaks back at night on a journey along the river to rescue him. Will they be able to save Titi?

This picture book, first published in Brazil, offers kids a unique look into the lives of children who live along Brazil's beautiful Tapajós River.


School Library Journal

Starred Review

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.--Lucia Acosta, Children's Literature Specialist, Princeton, NJ

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

An Amazon Best Book of the Month: Ages 6-8

"The vibrant colors in Vilela's illustrations and the expressive faces of Cauã and Inaê bring lightheartedness to their dangerous journey and the cyclical living it prescribes. A riveting journey." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A]ward-winning Brazilian author and illustrator Vilela brings to life the lush setting of the story. This beautiful book belongs in all picture book collections, specially given the dearth of books about the inhabitants of the Amazon region." —School Library Journal (starred review)

"Children's picture book artwork does not get much better than what Fernando Vilela has created with his intimate view of river life in the Amazon Rainforest. Along the Tapajós takes readers out of their surroundings and transports them to another world where kids do normal kid things but in an uncommon and unusual setting. Along the Tapajós is an exciting book with an intriguing lifestyle story, filled with stunning, vibrant, and unique illustrations." —New York Journal of Books

"This is one of those engaging titles that offers a glimpse of a location new to most American readers. More translations like this one, please!" —Fuse #8 Production

"[A] cheerful introduction to a way of life unfamiliar to most kids, who will enjoy the river life, houses on stilts, and ambient wildlife." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781542008686
Lexile Measure
730L
Guided Reading Level
0
Publication date
October 20, 2019
Series
-

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