The Shaman's Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest

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9780152012816: The Shaman's Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest
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In a Tirio village deep in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, the shaman Nahtahlah has a place of honor in his tribe. Young Kamanya wants to learn the healing secrets of the forest plants--he hopes that he, too, will become the tribe’s shaman, so that he can cure his people. When the villagers fall sick with an illness that Nahtahlah cannot cure, many lose faith in the shaman’s wisdom--until a foreign woman helps them understand its value while giving Kamanya an opportunity to realize his dream. Lynne Cherry returns to the rain forest with ethnobotanist Mark J. Plotkin to tell an important story about the healing plants of the earth-and why we must protect them.

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About the Author:

LYNNE CHERRY has devoted her life to sharing her concern about environmental issues with others. Her important children's books also include The Armadillo from Amarillo and two tales from the Amazon rain forest: The Great Kapok Tree and The Shaman's Apprentice. She lives in Washington, D.C.

From Booklist:

Ages 5^-9. The author of The Great Kapok Tree (1990) takes us back to the Amazon rain forest, this time teaming up with ethnobotanist Plotkin. Together, they present a story in which a lesson about medicinal herbs is brought to life through young Kamanya, who dreams of becoming his tribe's next shaman. Kamanya spends his time following the current shaman into the forest and learning the secrets of the plants. But local plants can't cure the new diseases brought to the area by strangers, and the pills the strangers bring with them cause the indigenous people to lose faith in the ability of their shaman. Eventually a woman named Gabriella, who comes to study the properties of the rain forest plants, restores the tribe's faith. The lush illustrations make the story a visual pleasure. Even the endpapers are rich in detail, picturing some of the rain forest plants and noting their uses. Like other books Cherry has worked on, this one, which is based on a true story, is a unusual addition to rain forest literature. It will be useful not only for story hours but also as a springboard for classroom discussion for older children as well as younger ones. Helen Rosenberg

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Lynne Cherry; Mark J. Plotkin
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