CM . . . . Volume XX Number 33 . . . . April 25, 2014
Freeman Wong's children's comic, The Adventures of Tulip and Tom: Monkey Business 1, educates readers on the subject of ecology, wildlife conservation, and the natural environment we inhabit. Tulip, a marine ecologist, and Tom, a wildlife biologist, work together to inform their readership on the important role they take on in their careers to help protect and conserve the natural world, including: "researching the impact of things on the environment, reading news about environmental laws, interpreting data, writing reports - even books, and of course, interacting with animals!" Through cartoon-style illustrations and large and colourful panels that are not text heavy, readers are invited to enter an accessible educational story of adventure and ecology.
The Adventures of Tulip and Tom takes the two protagonists on an imperative mission through the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo where Tom and Tulip must apply their research and knowledge of ecology to solve a possible natural world mystery: why are people and animals disappearing from the Congo? Wong delivers readers with informative facts about the Congo Rainforest and the important role that plant life plays in balancing the ecosystem. In this first book of the series, Wong has set up readers for the adventure and mystery solving to come into fruition. Book One plants the seed of wonder and curiosity in the reader, and I look forward to seeing the resulting rising action and mystery solving take place in the second book of the series.
The Adventures of Tulip and Tom: Monkey Business 1 opens up the floor for classroom discussion about the role we each play to protect the natural environment and the individual contributions each of us can make in this conservation effort. I would recommend Wong's book as an accessible comic to lead a discussion about ecology and wildlife conservation.
Natalie Schembri is studying children's literature at The University of British Columbia.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.