Friday, September 28, 2018

Galápagos Girl / Galapagueña

This is not strictly a bird or birding book but is so filled with birds that I wanted to share it. Also, one of my "bucket list" trips is to go to the Galápagos Islands. Marsha Diane Arnold tells the story of a young girl, born on the islands, a Galápagos girl, and the wonders she finds in the world around her. She plays among the delightfully funny blue-footed Boobies and dances with the island's eponymous penguins. There are 56 different species of birds on the islands, with 80% being found only there. Arnold also includes the Galápagos flamingo, Galápagos petrels, and the waved albatross.

Valentina learns that the world she so loves is endangered, threatened by animals that don't belong on the islands and people who don't care. The young girl leaves the island to go to school but returns a biologist, dedicated to sharing her love of the Galápagos with visitors and encouraging them to leave with promises to help keep the animals safe.

An Author's Note explains how Arnold met the real Valentina Cruz and how she and her family have protected the islands. Her work will be an inspiration to other young people who care about our world. Other back matter discusses the Galápagos and provides fun facts about the various birds and other animals introduced in the book. She concludes with an extensive bibliography for further reading, most of which is for adult readers. Another important aspect of the book is that it is dual language--providing the text in both Spanish and English.

The spectacular wildlife of the area is brought to life by Angela Dominguez, the author and illustrator of several other books, including two that have won Pura Belpré honors from the American Library Association. Great illustrations, a large format, and an engaging story make this an excellent choice for read-alouds and storytimes.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy from the publisher. I receive no compensation for reviewing the book.