Cover image for A boy and a jaguar
Title:
A boy and a jaguar
Author:
Rabinowitz, Alan, 1953-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2014].

©2014
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 29 cm
Summary:
The renowned cat conservationist reflects on his early childhood struggles with a speech disorder, describing how he only spoke fluently when he was communicating with animals and how he resolved at a young age to find his voice to be their advocate.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
Elementary Grade.

AD 670 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 3.8

Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 166145.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780547875071
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

2015 Schneider Family Book Award Winner


Alan loves animals, but the great cat house at the Bronx Zoo makes him sad. Why are they all alone in empty cages? Are they being punished? More than anything, he wants to be their champion--their voice--but he stutters uncontrollably.

Except when he talks to animals...

Then he is fluent.

Follow the life of the man Time Magazine calls, "the Indiana Jones of wildlife conservation"as he searches for his voice and fulfills a promise to speak for animals, and people, who cannot speak for themselves. This real-life story with tender illustrations by Catia Chien explores truths not defined by the spoken word.



Author Notes

Alan Robert Rabinowitz was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 31, 1953. He received a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Western Maryland College and a master's degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. His dissertation was about the ecology of the raccoon in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

He became a leading big cat conservationist for the Wildlife Conservation Society. He established the world's first jaguar preserve in Belize and a vast tiger preserve in Myanmar. He co-founded the wild cat conservation organization Panthera in 2006. He wrote several books including Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness; Life in the Valley of Death: The Fight to Save Tigers in a Land of Guns, Gold, and Greed; An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar; and A Boy and a Jaguar. He died from lymphatic cancer on August 5, 2018 at the age of 64.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In this poignant autobiography, Rabinowitz recalls the alienation he felt as a child who thought he was broken because he could not get his words out fluently. But there are other, more powerful ways of communicating, which Alan knows from the ease with which he talks to animals. As he grows up, he learns to both conquer and embrace the fact that he will always be a stutterer, and he soon becomes an advocate for animals. When, in the forest, he looks into the eyes of a jaguar and sees strength and power and sureness of purpose, readers will feel privileged to be part of this magical experience. Chien's impressionistic illustrations lend a gentle playfulness to the overall solemnity, with muted colors, expressive faces, and arrangements that draw attention to scale and size all of which remind us that there are many ways to tell a story, whether you are one with words, like Rabinowitz, or one without any, like the jaguar. A mature look at how some observant children understand the world better than some adults.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In his first book for children, conservationist and adult author Rabinowitz frames his lifelong struggle with stuttering against his equally long-held love of animals, which led to a career spent studying and advocating for them. "I am a stutterer," he explains. "If I try to push words out, my head and body shake uncontrollably." The first-person present-tense narration creates an intimate connection to the author's pain as he is placed "in a class for disturbed children," subjected to unsuccessful treatments, and considered "broken" and disruptive by teachers. With animals, however, his words flow easily, and a young Alan promises a lonely jaguar at the Bronx Zoo: "If I can ever find my voice, I will be their voice and keep them from harm." Shadowy charcoal lines and the often-muted colors of Chien's paintings amplify Alan's solitude, but also reflect the profound joy, wonder, and healing he discovers studying animals in the wild. It's a candid and deeply resonant account of a hard-fought battle against societal stigma, and an embrace of one's true talent and calling. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Anna Olswanger, Liza Dawson Associates. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-Rabinowitz is a wildlife conservationist and spokesperson for the Stuttering Foundation of America. When he was a boy, he discovered that, despite severe speech challenges, he had a gift for communicating with animals. The book charts his story through college and his travels to the jungles of Belize. Eventually, he overcomes his stutter enough to speak before the prime minister on behalf of the jaguars. Chien's acrylic and charcoal illustrations perfectly capture the tenacious, loving spirit of the author as a boy and a lonely, intrepid young man. Chien has a flair for painting animals as well as portraying Rabinowitz's condition with empathy. One page, drenched in a moody mauve, depicts his anguished face and hands gripping at his throat as he tries to "push words out." With the flip of a page, readers see the boy awash in yellow sunlight, surrounded by animals, his face completely relaxed as he speaks fluently. Rabinowitz's text is elegant, if at times slightly wordy for the target audience: "In this animal's eyes are strength and power and sureness of purpose." The emotional resonance of the text, urgency of the issues discussed, and breathtakingly beautiful illustrations make this book a winner. The story will help children empathize with their peers with speech issues and will be a lifeline to those with special needs or who feel like outsiders for one reason or another. Every library should own this book, a testament to the fierce beauty of jaguars and the human spirit.-Jess deCourcy Hinds, Bard High School Early College, Queens, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.