Thursday, February 27, 2020

Review - Jingo in the Jungle: Saving the Jewels of the Earth

Jingo in the Jungle: Saving the Jewels of the Earth
by Serena Lane Ferrari
illustrated by Ferdinando Batistini
Date: 2019
Publisher: Save The Planet Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 35
Format: e-book

Deep in the rainforest - a magical place called the Jewels of the Earth - here lives Jingo, the orangutan of the jungle.

“I’m Jingo from the jungle.

I swing and I tumble.

With my tummy I mumble.

With my toes I can fumble!”

But today, Jingo and his friends are going to face the greatest danger of the rainforest.

A fun and engaging book that addresses the issue of deforestation and how it impacts wildlife.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm actually kind of astounded that this has such a high rating on Goodreads. It's not that good, people. Good intentions aren't enough to make a book truly great. There has to be quality and creativity, too.

This is a story about an orangutan and his friends who are confronted by a bunch of bulldozers. Yes, deforestation is a problem. But in this book? The solution is stupid and unrealistic (the animals all get together and confront the bulldozers... and the bulldozers turn around and leave them alone) and really doesn't relate to anything that readers could be doing if they want to help. Is the message aimed at human children or at sentient jungle animals? One could be forgiven for thinking it's the latter.

The writing is weak and clunky. The illustrations are okay, but they're nothing particularly special or memorable.

The factual information in the back about deforestation is, somewhat surprisingly, also pretty weak. What can you do to fight deforestation? Well... nothing. There's no mention of the little things that people can do (like avoiding palm oil), and the one organization link that's included simply states that the author supports them. Okay... but what can I do to help fight deforestation? After reading this, I have no idea. That's not very empowering.

Some books in this vein are too preachy. This one seems to be almost the opposite. We're introduced to the problem, and then... nothing. Poor Jingo and friends. You're on your own, guys!

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2 out of 5

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