Hands of the Rain Forest: the Embera People of Panama
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
by: Judith Falzon

Section: Young Adult Book Reviews

April 2010 Newsletter

Reviewed by Judith Falzon, Branch Manager, St. Joseph County Public Library, IN

Visually impressive and culturally respectful, this book highlights the daily life of the Emberá people of Panama. To Americanized children, cocooned by technology and virtual environments, the tactile chores and lush sensory culture may be challenging to imagine. Each page conveys the ambience of geography and anthropology:  pages are blue and green, with jungle leaf imprints. Brief paragraphs and clean page layout enhance the reader’s experience of place and people. Vignettes of everyday life feature important activities such as basket making, fishing and body painting.  Words vary in reading difficulty, from simple to moderately sophisticated. The Crandall’s stunning photography was created during her visits with the Emberá to record their traditional stories. The wonderful glossary at the end contains a wealth of additional information. A map and one page introduction by the author prepare readers for this visual treat.  Recommended.
Hands of the Rain Forest: the Embera People of Panama. Rachel Crandall. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2009. 32 pp. $16.99 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-0-8050-7990-6. Grades 1-5. English.

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