Mystery of the Troubled Toucan
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 Book Review
Mystery of the Troubled Toucan
Written by Lisa Travis
Illustrated by Adam Turner
I received Mystery of the Troubled Toucan by Lisa Travis in ebook form from Pack-n-Go Girls to review for the Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022.
This chapter book, set in the Amazon Rain Forest of Brazil, features two nine-year-old girls – Sofia from the United States and of Cuban descent, and Julia, from Brazil. Their fathers work together for the same company, and Sofia and her dad are visiting Brazil for work and a vacation. Julia and her father are serving as their tour guides. As the girls explore the rain forest, Sofia learns about the area’s flora, fauna, geography, and food. Sofia speaks Spanish while Julia speaks Portuguese, so phrases of both languages are sprinkled throughout, with the girls often pointing out the commonalities and differences of these languages.
As Sofia and her father travel along the river, they encounter multiple indigenous animals, including crocodiles, piranhas, and a toucan who continuously pesters Sofia. As the story progresses, the toucan leads Sofia and Julia to a group of pink dolphins tied up. Julia, who dreams of being a ranger in the rain forest, knows that poachers are to blame. They use the pink dolphins as food to attract exotic fish that they can sell on the black market. So the girls devise plans to rescue the dolphins and catch the poachers.
As they get to know one another, the girls find out they have much in common – such as pesky siblings. And they also have much to learn from one another coming from different countries and cultures. Sofia is also facing a problematic family issue – her parents announced the day before this trip that they were separating and living in different homes.
Sometimes books attempting to touch multiple topics can be shallow and ineffective. However, the author of Mystery of the Troubled Toucan has managed to successfully weave a wide variety of topics into an engaging story. These themes include empowerment of girls; confidence and self-esteem; problem-solving; hobbies and interests; ethical behavior; exploring other cultures – through food, language, and customs; conservation of the planet and animals; geography; the commonalities between humans; and dealing with family issues, such as divorce. These concepts are presented in a realistic, unforced, non-preachy way while by multi-dimensional and believable characters, wrapped up in an appealing mystery.
The line illustrations are scattered throughout the book and provide a realistic depiction of the story’s animals, flora, and people. In addition, the pictures break up the text, which is helpful to early readers.
Pack-n-Go Girls has such impressive and worthy goals: “Pack-n-Go Girls specializes in creating innovative stories and toys for girls that deliver positive messages around independence, adventure, and global awareness. Our vision is simple. We want kids to be curious, to value other cultures, and to have a sense of adventure in a boundaryless world. We appreciate the diversity of cultures and the richness each one contributes to the world. We strive to create greater understanding through finding commonalities as well as understanding the differences that make us unique.” The founders of Pack-n-Go Girls believe that “…travel builds appreciation, tolerance, and empathy for others.” Since most kids cannot travel the world, Pack-n-Go Girls writes books so that children can experience different cultures and countries from the comfort of their favorite reading spot.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 (1/28/22) is in its 9th year!
This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those books into the hands of young readers and educators.
MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves. Read about our Mission & History HERE.
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FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day
Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents
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Join us on Friday, Jan 29, 2021, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party! Be sure and follow MCBD and Make A Way Media on Twitter!
This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.
We will be giving away an 8-Book Bundle every 5 minutes plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **
Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. See you all very soon on Twitter!
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