Tomorrow is Paulo's birthday and he is so excited. He lives with his family deep in the Amazon jungle where they fish and plant manioc and for the first time ever, he and his father will be riding the steamer down the Amazon. The next morning they make their way down to the city, they stop at the fish market and watch the men carrying boxes full of fish. "That's a filhote," says Paulo's father. "They used to be twice that size, but all the really big ones have been caught. Someday there will be none." Walking through the marketplace together they see dried lizards, snake tails, porpoise jaws and sloth claws and vials of pure-white turtle fat. Paulo's father tells him, "I hope the river and forest will continue to give their gifts for all your birthdays... BUt there is so much ignorance in the world. The forest is burned for farming and ranching. In a few years the land is no good for anything." The earth is torn open for gold, destroying the streams and killing the fish. Our poor Amazon." Earely the next morning, Paulo decides to go fishing. He finds a filhote bigger than his canoe. "We will be rich, " he cries. Then he looks at the fish and remembers his father's words. Slowly the fish slips back into the cool waters of the Amazon River. Ted Lewin paints us a beautiful journey down the Amazon and opens our minds to this land of promise and conflict. 32 pages Ages 7-10
Simon and Schuster 1993
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