Title: Jo-Jo The Orangutan
Authors: Denise Turu and Juan Scaliter
Publisher: Wonder House Books
Age group: 3-6 years
I’m writing this review on behalf of my sons, Hari, who is almost 5 years old and Sai, who is almost 3.
This story is about Jo-Jo, the orangutan, who was separated from his mother at a young age and taken to the city where he hardly finds any greenery. He is able to recall three things from memory – the green colour that surrounded him when he was with his mother, his mother’s smell and a traumatic memory of him being taken away from the forest.
He was unable to forget the memory of him being separated from his mother, even though he tries hard to. So whenever he feels homesick, he just closes his eyes and thinks of the happy memories – the colour of green that he loved and felt waves of leaves taking him back to his rainforest. He thinks of his mother’s smell which makes him smile wide.
But the reality was that he was in a city that he never liked because here he could only see gray colour around him – no leaves and no fruits around and no greenery at all. The only thing he liked were the rainy days. He drank all the rain water, which felt refreshing! In fact, he tried to share the rain water with other animals but they never wanted it. Jo-Jo didn’t enjoy being in the city for so long and wanted to be back in his rainforest.
One day a girl approached Jo-Jo gently – she was very kind and gave him water to drink, which made him feel comfortable and at ease with her. She rescued Jo-Jo from the “gray tree” and gave him a tight hug. Jo-Jo could feel the warmth of his mother in her.
At the end of the book, there is a lot of detailed information about Orangutans – which means Jungle-Man in Bahasa (Indonesian language), their food habits, how long babies stay with the mothers and how the mothers teach them to eat, climb and how to escape from danger and much much more. The book teaches us how to be animal-friendly, empathetic and compassionate, how to rescue animals from danger and how it impacts the the forest and environment.
If you have an orangutan lover like us at home and want to know more about Jo-Jo – like who rescued him and what impact Jo-Jo had on this person and how old he is now, then you must get this book!
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