Author: Helen Cowcher
Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Environmental Conservation and Preservation, Habitats and Ecosystems, Water Cycle
Deep in the rain forest, creatures make their home in the trees and on the ground. Some of them fly, like toucans and blue morpho butterflies. Others, like tapirs and anteaters, walk. They each have everything they need, and live happily . . . until one day, men arrive with machines to cut down trees and clear away land. Even the jaguar, the fiercest animal of them all, is frightened, and the animals retreat ever deeper into the shrinking interior. But then the rains come. The animals know enough to move to higher ground, but the men continue in their machines, tearing down trees. Without the trees and their roots, there is nothing to hold the soil down and the riverbank is washed away. A powerful flood is unleashed and the men and their machines are pulled under to their doom.
Helen Cowcher's simple yet powerful story presents one basic truth destruction of the rain forest brings peril to animals and mankind alike. It is the rain forest that protects them so long as it, too, remains protected. With illustrations bursting with color and life, Helen Cowcher does honor to this amazing and precious ecosystem.