SARAH SAW A BLUE MACAW
Jo Bogart. Illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault.
Volume 19 Number 3
The talents of Jo Ellen Bogart (Daniel's Dog ¹ and Malcolm's Runaway Soap (North Winds Press, 1988)) and Sylvie Daigneault (Simon's Surprise ²) combine beautifully in Sarah Saw a Blue Macaw, a gentle rhyming tale of animal life in the Peruvian rain forest.
Bogart begins each page with a question. To the first, "Where did Sarah swing?" she replies, "Sarah swung where branches hung." This pattern of question and answer is carried on throughout the book until at the last, "Sarah said, It's time for bed." Creatures of the rain forest are referred to in the text by personal names. Clues about the characters are provided in the illustrations. The text flows smoothly and uses alliteration and repetition to good effect in introducing the rain forest inhabitants.
The illustrations by Sylvie Daigneault provide an accurate and inviting setting for Bogart's characters.
Daigneault has correctly portrayed the animals and vegetation of the rain forest environment. The pages are not cluttered but indicate a lush, multilayered ecosystem. Her progression from daylight to an exotic, star-filled night is done gradually and illustrates the cycle of diurnal and nocturnal animal movement.
An added feature of the book and one which should appeal in families where older children pour over Waldo books is the hide-and-seek element. A "cast of characters" is available at the end of the book listing each animal by its personal and species name. Other animals on the same page are indicated so that the searcher can identify each one. Sarah, the spider monkey of the title, is also hidden on each page and can be searched out.
Bogart and Daigneault have created a lyrical and artistic book which imparts a sense of wonder and appreciation for an endangered environment.
Jennifer Johnson, Ottawa, ON.
¹ Reviewed vol. XVIII/3 May 1990, p. 117.
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