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Zonia's rain forest / Juana Martinez-Neal.

Martinez-Neal, Juana, (author,, illustrator.).

Available copies

  • 0 of 2 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 0 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

1 current hold with 2 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Climax Public Library E M (Text) 33500013371836 New Checked out 04/26/2021
Fertile Public Library E M (Text) 33500013371844 New Checked out 04/30/2021

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781536208450
  • ISBN: 1536208450
  • Physical Description: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 28 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2021.

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.:
Enjoying days spent with animal friends near her home in the Amazon, young Zonia wonders what to do on a day when the rainforest calls out to her for help, in a lushly illustrated story that is complemented by back matter about the Asháninka community.
Language Note:
In English, with an Ashaninca translation.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2021 January #1
    *Starred Review* TITLE: Answering the Forest's CallDEK: A young girl's pledge to protect the AmazonIn her first solo project since her Caldecott Honor–winning Alma and How She Got Her Name (2018), Martinez-Neal presents a tale that is both celebratory and cautionary in nature. Apple-cheeked with long, dark hair tumbling down her back, Zonia spends a happy morning exploring the rain forest where she lives. First, she follows a blue morpho butterfly into the dense understory, delighting when it lands beside four sweet-faced sloths dangling from a branch. Next, she greets "some chatty new neighbors" (red-plumed Andean cocks-of-the-rock) with a smile so big it barely fits on the girl's face. She continues, appreciating others' perspectives (literally, by hanging upside-down in a tree), their playfulness and speed, as well as the quiet and calm that they afford, as when she visits some Arrau turtles.At its simplest level, this is a beautiful story about a child who loves her home and the animals she with whom she shares it. Martinez-Neal's rounded, soft-textured illustrations are wonderfully inviting and involve linocut and woodcut leaves and fronds printed on natural banana-bark paper. Amid these varied greens, Zonia shines in her marigold tunic, as do many of the warmly or brightly colored animal friends she visits; young readers will enjoy finding the blue butterfly in every spread and learning the names of the rain forest creatures, which are identified in the back matter. The text is kept to two short sentences per double-page spread, reflecting Zonia's uncomplicated and innocent view of the world, which is shaken when she stumbles upon a large section of clear-cut forest.This scene is Martinez-Neal's call to action for her readers. Like Zonia, kids will know instinctively that what they are seeing is bad, even if they don't fully understand why, and they will accept Zonia's charge to protect the forest. Zonia is Asháninka, an Indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon. Martinez-Neal provides information on the Asháninka and the Amazon rain forest in back matter, which is written with a sense of urgency. She doesn't shy away from calling out racial and social injustices faced by Indigenous peoples, most of whom feel a deep connection and commitment to their forest home. Subsequent facts about the Amazon and threats to it (farming, illegal logging, etc.) underscore the necessity of protecting the environment and supporting those working for this cause.It is a somewhat jarring conclusion to an otherwise free-spirited book, which may be off-putting to some readers. Though Zonia's resolve to answer the forest's call for help would perhaps feel more empowering if the back matter also included ways for children to become involved in the cause, readers will undoubtedly be moved by Zonia's experience and compelled to learn more about these forests and the people who live in them. An Asháninka translation of the story is also included and serves as another reminder that the Asháninka are at the heart—or, more accurately, are the heart—of this beautiful tale, and it behooves us all to listen them in their concern for the Amazon.Ultimately, this is a conversation starter and worthy companion to books such as The Lorax and Carole Lindstrom's We Are Water Protectors (2020), capable of bridging more complex discussions on racial and environmental activism, as well as the study of rain forest biomes. Children don't need statistics to understand that destroying animals' and people's forest homes is harmful, but arming them with facts to gird their compassion will ensure they are a force to be reckoned with in fights to come. Preschool-Grade 3. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

Juana Martinez-Neal is the Peruvian-born daughter and granddaughter of painters. Her debut as an author-illustrator, Alma and How She Got Her Name, was awarded a Caldecott Honor and was published in Spanish as Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre. She also illustrated La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya, for which she won a Pura Belpré Illustrator Award, Babymoon by Hayley Barrett, and Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, which won a Robert F. Sibert Medal. Juana Martinez-Neal lives in Arizona with her family. Visit her online at

Subject: Rain forests > Amazon River Region > Juvenile fiction.
Rain forests > Peru > Juvenile fiction.
Rain forest animals > Amazon River Region > Juvenile fiction.
Rain forest animals > Peru > Juvenile fiction.
Deforestation > Amazon River Region > Juvenile fiction.
Deforestation > Peru > Juvenile fiction.
Ashaninca Indians > Juvenile fiction.
Indians of South America > Peru > Juvenile fiction.
Amazon River Region > Juvenile fiction.
Peru > Juvenile fiction.
Rain forests > Amazon River Region > Fiction.
Rain forests > Peru > Fiction.
Rain forest animals > Amazon River Region > Fiction.
Rain forest animals > Peru > Fiction.
Deforestation > Amazon River Region > Fiction.
Deforestation > Peru > Fiction.
Ashaninca Indians > Fiction.
Indians of South America > Peru > Fiction.
Amazon River Region > Fiction.
Peru > Fiction.
JUVENILE FICTION / Science & Nature / Environment.
JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Caribbean & Latin America.
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance.
Genre: South American Indian language materials > Bilingual > Juvenile fiction.
Picture books.

Additional Resources