One Day in the Tropical Rain Forest

GF 54.5.g46 1990.  GF 1-900 classes works on Human ecology and Anthropogeography.  (The Free Online Dictionary defines Anthropogeography as “The science of the human species as to geographical distribution and environment. Broadly, it includes industrial, commercial, and political geography, and that part of ethnology which deals with distribution and physical environment.”)

Series Title: One Day Series

Author: Jean Craighead George
ISBN-10:0690047673 ISBN-13: 978-0690047677
City and Publisher: New York: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 1990
Author’s Website:

Notes: Includes bibliography and index

Reader’s Annotation: Tepui lives in a tropical rainforest, alongside a plethora of animals and plants.  Can he find an undiscovered butterfly and help save everyone’s home from certain destruction?

Plot Summary: Tepui lives near the Tropical Rainforest of the Macaw.  He is assisting scientists studying the vast range of animals and plants.  The rainforest is scheduled for demolition, but if Tepui can help find an undiscovered butterfly, he may be able to save countless lives.

Critical Evaluation: One Day in the Tropical Rain Forest is stuffed to the gills with detail about plants and animals that thrive in the unique environment of a tropical rainforest.  The over-arcing plot is extremely straightforward, the book’s complexity is derived solely from the level of scientific detail on the life and habits of rainforest creatures.  Therein lies the problem with this book.  The vocabulary and details describing these creatures is on or above the reading level of 9-12 year olds.  These details are not very well integrated into the plot however, and the resulting storyline is extremely simplistic.  I am skeptical that this book will appeal to any but the most dedicated rainforest fans.  And those may prefer a more straightforward, non-fiction approach.

Reading Level/Interest Age: 9-12
Curriculum Ties: biodiversity, rainforests, ecology, native peoples
Booktalking Ideas: Rainforest specimens would help bring this book to life.  Stuffed or live animals, or even pictures, would help bring this story into a more emotional reality.  Booktalkers may also wish to open up the floor first for discussion of what “endangered” means, or personal experiences with conservation or animals in the wild.

Genre: Fiction – environmental, adventure

Challenge Issues: Tepui is referred to as an Indian, which may not be the height of political correctness.  The book also deals with nature on a deadly level – a jaguar is eaten by army ants, and creatures fight and die for survival.  There is a brief description of sloth bodily functions (#1 and #2).  There is a strong bias towards preservation/ecological concerns.

About the Author: Jean Craighead George is perhaps most renowned for her Newberry award winning Julie of the Wolves, although My Side of the Mountain is also present on many curricula, and is a Newberry honor book.  She has a degree in Science and Literature from Penn State university.  Her life has encompassed a wide variety of pets and nature treks (as a child and then later with her own children), and these experiences are apparent in her work.  More detail at:


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