With testimonials from the illustrious Sy Montgomery and Temple Grandin, Alan Rabinowitz’s “A Boy and A Jaguar” delivers a story unlike any other I have read before. In the opening of the story, young Alan explains his own experience in school as a stutterer. My heart breaks for him. I know him. (Not Alan, but children who have difficulty for any number of reasons expressing themselves). But animals, he can talk to animals. Without stuttering or struggling. And he promises that he will speak for them if he gets the opportunity.
As an adult, Dr. Rabinowitz works to preserve land for wildlife, and jaguars in Belize specifically. There is a beautiful spread with illustrations from Catia Chien that literally takes my breath away. It reads: “In this animals eyes are strength and power and sureness of purpose. We are both whole. We are both at home.”
In the About the Author section, we learn more about Dr. Rabinowitz and his work with Panthera, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting wildcats. He is also an advocate for stutterers and states that “he feels lucky to have been given the gift of stuttering and believes that had he not stuttered, he would not be on the path of his passion…” I love that.
Check out A Boy and a Jaguar and be inspired to take the time to be quiet and observe and find your own passion and pursue it wholeheartedly.
A Boy and A Jaguar
Author: Alan Rabinowitz
Illustrator: Catia Chien
Published 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
I borrowed this copy from my public library to review.