Animal Stories from Monteverde

February 4, 2005

MARGAYS, tapirs, monkeys, parrotsand turtles are the subjects of this charming126-page book about the Monteverdecloud forest, in the north-central region ofthe country. The stories are by MarthaMoss, one of the early settlers to theMonteverde Quaker community, who hasadded storytelling to a long list of accomplishments.With text in Spanish and English, thebook includes 62 line drawings for coloringby popular resident artist PatriciaJiménez.The six stories show kindly relationshipsbetween humans and animals. Anorphaned margay, a small, spotted wildcat,is adopted by Benny, a boy who loves hispet but realizes that a house is no place fora wild animal, and that special parks andorganizations can help return such animalsto their rightful environment.Another story tells about the scarletmacaw that couldn’t fly but finally found asafe home and mate in the reserve at PaloVerde, a national park in the northwesternprovince of Guanacaste.The stories of the tapir and the turtlesshow the need to respect animals in thewild, even when we want to interact withthem. Choco the monkey and Princess thequetzal lived with families after being rescued,but in time rejoined their wild brothersand sisters on their own.Moss has been telling stories to youngpeople “for years,” to get across the messageof taking care of the environment andits wild inhabitants. The stories were compiledand illustrated to provide an entertainingway to spread this message. A fewfaults mar the locally published book;typographical errors can be found, andsome of the drawings are a bit sketchy. Thebook costs $10 and so far is available onlyin Monteverde at the Tropical ScienceCenter and through the ConservationLeague. For more information, call MarthaMoss at 645-5622.

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