Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're welcoming a blog tour courtesy of Penguin Young Readers and starring the latest release from an author who's been around the publishing block a time or two (or twenty). Aside from being a Caldecott Winner, she's an author who's willing to use her writing skills to bring issues affecting us all to the here and now. In my past experience with her works, I've enjoyed my time between the pages and she's always been so giving with her time, so when THIS TOUR came around, I knew I wanted in. A few emails later and one more storybook read, brings us to today's blog tour guest and featured title...
The Real Life Adventure of Field Scientist Cynthia Moss
About the book...
Cynthia Moss was never afraid of big things. As a kid, she liked to ride through the countryside on her tall horse and visit faraway places, and she especially loved to learn about nature and the world around her. So when Cynthia traveled to Africa and met the world's largest land animal, the African elephant, at the Amboseli National Park in Kenya, she knew she had found her life's work. Cynthia has spent years learning everything she can about elephants and sharing these fascinating creatures with the world and fighting against ivory poachers who kill elephants for their tusks.
This is the story of one woman who never set out to change the world, but did so nonetheless. She grew up much the same as you or I, reached her educational goals, and attained a job with a well respected news magazine. Life was good, until it wasn't. Her heart wasn't quite settled it seems and upon learning from a friend about the mysteries and beauty of Africa, she simply had to see it for herself. See it she did but she also settled there in what would be the first step in a lifelong adventure...to save the elephants.
Though a work of fiction, it is grounded in facts, allowing readers young and old the chance to capture the same magic that ensnared Ms. Moss. We see how her life was and all that it turned out to be, just because she didn't let BIG things stand in her way; in fact, she herself became that "big thing" standing in the way of those that would harm these gentle giants. It was remarkable to read AND see thanks to the beautiful illustrations throughout. You really get a feel for the majesty of the setting that drew her like a moth to a flame. The fact that her short term project turned into a lifelong journey just made her efforts that more consequential. It truly gives you the feeling that though we are put a space in the stars, we can affect change and help make our world a better place for all, both man and beast.
The statistics are gruesome but the reality is, these larger than life creatures need our help. The truly sad part? Part of that assistance is in keeping them out of the hands of others that would do them harm, not just Mother Nature or natural selection. We're talking poachers; those that would take what is not their's to gain profit, with no regard for who or what they destroy in their paths. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about the atrocities they commit but a determination to my heart that with the help of a few, the many shall prosper leading us away from a day without these majestic creatures and into a time when there is room for us all. For more information on how you can help, feel free to research the topics/places listed. Meanwhile, let's get a little more personal with our author or the moment, shall we? A very special guest post with author Toni Buzzeo is heading your way in three...two...one...
Top 10 Bucket List with Author Toni Buzzeo
(When asked what I wanted to share, I took into mind the subject of the book and seeing as she was never afraid of a BIG adventure, I decided to pose the question to the author. Here's what came of the interaction...)
1. I would travel back to Amboseli National Park in Kenya where Cynthia Moss lives and works
with the same families of elephants she has studied for more than four decades. While I have been to Amboseli twice, there will never be a limit to the time I wish I could spend there.
2. I would fund efforts to save Africa’s elephants who are being poached for ivory at an alarming rate. In March 2015, attendees from 20 countries at the Africa Elephant Summit held in Botswana heard that African elephants could be extinct in the wild within one decade.
3. We urgently need research into the halt of global warming and I would be an active funder and promoter of that effort. Among other tragedies, global warming may be the cause of the melting of the snow pack on Mount Kilimanjaro that supplies water for all of Amboseli National Park and its elephants.
4. So far, I have only visited three of the African continent’s 54 countries, Kenya (twice), Ethiopia, and Morocco. With unlimited time and unlimited resources, I would visit the other 53 countries—and return to Kenya to see the elephants of Amboseli once again.
5. My husband has always said that if he won the lottery, he would build a large, well-stocked and well-staffed library in our little rural Maine town of Buxton. I would gladly be a partner in that endeavor—and name the library after him: The Kenneth M. Cyll Library.
6. All children deserve a well-staffed and well-stocked school library, so I would ensure that every child around the world had that advantage. And of course, each of those libraries would have multiple copies of each of my 24 children’s books personally autographed by me.
7. I would ensure that every aspiring young writer received inspiring writing instruction, perhaps through a mentorship program that linked these young people with published authors in their local communities. Imagine if every child who was drawn to write had a mentor shining a light on the path ahead!
8. I’d love the opportunity to study basket weaving under a master basket weaver, perhaps even a Penobscot weaver in my home state of Maine. I’ll never forget the woven basket exhibition at the Abbe Museum at one of my visits. I was completely entranced and transported by the baskets and I would love to learn more.
9. If time were no obstacle, I would also love to learn to spin my own yarn. I treasure the hours I spend working with fiber (crocheting is one of my main hobbies) and imagine that the joy would be doubled if the yarn slipping through my fingers were yarn I had spun.
10. I would have the time and fabric to make a quilt for every child around the world who needed one (and what child doesn’t?). It would be magical to know each child’s favorite animals, colors, and activities and to create quilts that reflected those. For now, I content myself with quilts for my grandchildren.
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About the author...
Toni Buzzeo, a former teacher and media specialist, is now a full-time author with many picture books to her credit, including Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten, The Sea Chest, and the Caldecott Honor winner One Cool Friend. She and her husband, Ken, divide their time between Sarasota, Florida, and Buxton, Maine.
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About the illustrator...
Holly Berry is a printmaker and acclaimed illustrator of a number of picture books, including Colorful Dreamer, the Charlotte Zolotow Honor book How Mama Brought the Spring, and the Society of Illustrators Original Art Silver Medalist book The Impudent Rooster. She received her BFA in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and now lives in Waldoboro, Maine.
Special thanks to Rachel at Penguin Young Readers for the chance to bring this blog tour to you as well as the copy for review. My thanks as well to the author for sharing her time and piece of herself once again. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the illustrator, the publisher, or the cause itself, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title just celebrated its BOOK BIRTHDAY this past Tuesday, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time...happy reading!