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Amazon River Rescue: Adventures of Riley #3    by Amanda Lumry, Laura Hurwitz & Sarah McIntyre order for
Amazon River Rescue
by Amanda Lumry
Order:  USA  Can
Eaglemont, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In this third in the engagingly ecological Adventures of Riley (developed with help from the Smithsonian, World Wildlife Fund and Wildlife Conservation Society), our young hero is invited to join his Uncle Max, Aunt Martha and Cousin Alice. The plan is 'to study the role that Kapok trees play in supporting life' in the Amazon Rain Forest. Of course, those of us who've shared Riley's previous exciting journeys know that there'll be a misadventure (mixed with science) along the way.

Sarah McIntyre's colorful illustrations (overlaid with creature photographs) bring the layered Amazon forest to vibrant, riotous life. Sidebars throughout quote scientists on fascinating factoids about the region, e.g. that more than half a piranha's diet is fruit and nuts. And Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz teach us about the region as they tell their story. When Riley wonders why Uncle Max studies trees, he's told that we need the oxygen they produce - 'Without trees, animals and humans couldn't survive.' Riley and Alice spot many animals, including 'caiman' on a night-time boat ride. When they explore on their own, they manage to get lost. Paddling in pursuit of 'capybara', they find a deforestation site, come close to being 'Jaguar Jerky', and use a Kapok tree to call for help.

At the back of each book is a Passport to Riley's World, which can be filled with adventure stickers from each episode. Where will Riley go next? Madagascar maybe? I can't wait to find out!

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