Darcy Pattison and Kitty Harvill have teamed up again, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. You might remember when I reviewed their previous collaboration, WISDOM, THE MIDWAY ALBATROSS, here.
Unlike Wisdom, the main character in ABAYOMI, THE BRAZILIAN PUMA, is a mammal, a feline, not a bird. Unlike Wisdom, Abayomi lives in South America, in Brazil, not on an island in the North Pacific Ocean. Unlike Wisdom, Abayomi is a baby, an orphan, not a wise, old mother. Yet their stories have much in common.
Like WISDOM, ABAYOMI, is a “biography in text and art” of a specific wild animal whose life has intersected with human beings in an unusual and interesting way. Like Wisdom, Abayomi is affected both positively and negatively by the actions of humans. Like WISDOM, both Darcy and Kitty have done their research and grounded the ABAYOMI story in the scientific reality behind it. Like WISDOM, ABAYOMI has a compelling story arc, well-crafted text, and stunning artwork. Also like Wisdom, Abayomi’s story is not yet over: the open endings entice readers to keep thinking about these sympathetic characters and the plights they find themselves in for a long time after the book has been closed.
You can read more about the story behind the Abayomi story in an interview Darcy did with author Nancy Castaldo, here.