Friday 17 June 2011

Adventures with Ollie the Orangutan

Adventures with Ollie the Orangutan by Jan Latta (True To Life Books)
PB RRP $12.95
ISBN 978-0-9808727-0-5
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis
There is something extremely exciting about discovering things that are real and interesting. Jan Latta is author, photographer and publisher in this incredible true-to-life series of twelve books which has been created to ‘educate children about endangered species’. She went into the Borneo rainforest to photograph and document the lives of the orang-utans in the wild for this publication.

Ollie the orang-utan is the narrator. He is depicted in his natural habitat and through the amazing photography that shares the page with the text we are invited into his family life. He informs us about his heritage, where he lives, what his name means in the Malay language, and why they are frequently known as the ‘red ape’. He is pictured still and in motion; with his mother as she teaches him to climb and where to find food, and in tender and moving poses that show how similar the apes are to humans. The text is light and entertaining with significant words highlighted in various colours.

Ollie tells us about the orang-utan’s eating habits, height and weight of the male and female, the special names for various parts of their body, how they swing from tree to tree, and where and how they sleep.

The book ends with a double page listing of Orang-utan Facts which include lifespan, numbers remaining, diet, and a list of incredible Did You Know? statistics. Interesting websites are listed along with recommended reading and information on organizations that help the orang-utans. Well priced, these 24 page books are easily accessed and worthwhile. The series is suitable for ages 5+ in the company of an adult to answer questions, for older children as research projects, or simply for pleasure and awareness.

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