Who knew that a monkey with self esteem issues could be a hero and save the rain forest? Leah Beth Evans did! This small picture book shows that even when you think you aren't special, sometimes it takes the right situation to really let you shine.
When Tamagochi the monkey was concerned that there was nothing special about himself, his friends Peshe the tiger and Mocho the toucan tried to help. Though Peshe had a beautiful striped coat and Tamagochi thought he was just a small plain brown monkey, the tiger told him it was what was inside that counted. And when their rain forest came under attack, it was Tamagochi who stepped up to fight off the men and the bulldozers. When his home was threatened, Tamagochi chose to stand and fight instead of run.
That day, the little monkey discovered he was brave, and that made him special.
Evans published A Different Kind of Hero in 2007 with the help of illustrator James Fisher when she was in the seventh grade. She wrote the story in the fourth grade after studying about the rain forest in school. And I have to say it's impressive work. The story is well constructed and inspiring for kids (and monkeys) and the artwork is a bit rough, yet colorful to attract and keep the reader's attention. I especially liked the illustrations where Tamagochi was scaring off the bulldozer and construction crew. The chaos of everyone running away was captured beautifully.
Hopefully Evans and Fisher will collaborate in the future on other books for children. Be sure to check out A Different Kind of Hero at Amazon!