Review by A. E. Jaskiewicz
Lewis is a curious Lemur. Not only that, but he thinks he knows better than everyone else. He doesn’t pay attention to the warnings that his parents gave him about venturing out into the open land, and that’s how Lewis the lemur ends up in the Belly of the Beast (or airplane), along with Komodo the dragon, and Ullow the parrot. Quite unlike Lewis who ventured into the belly of the beast by himself, Komodo and Ullow have been captured and taken away from their homes and that’s how they ended up in the airplane. It is now up to Cirgussie, the Galapagos tortoise and caretaker of all the animals, to figure out how to rescue Lewis and his new friends.
Lewis the Lemur has many different points to it. It is a book that sort of cautions kids to listen to what their parents tell them, even if they think they know better. It is also a tale that quite persistently talks about how we as humans should honor the habitat of wild creatures, and the wild creatures themselves.
The story centers mainly around the title character, however, we do see quite a bit of Cirgussie, Komodo and Ullow. We also see some of Cleesie the Lemur, who is Lewis’ younger cousin. They are both different kinds of lemur, as Lewis is a Ring Tailed Lemur, and Cleesie is a Wooly Lemur. These are the characters that are the most developed in the story. While Lewis comes off as somewhat arrogant because of his age, Cleesie seems a little bit more cautious and jealous of what Lewis can do that he can’t because he’s younger. These seem to be the two characters that most kids would be able to relate to the most, as the other animals are older and somewhat cantankerous.
There are some black and white illustrations throughout the book that should help readers understand a little bit better what the characters are supposed to look like, in case they aren’t familiar with the animal species in the book. There are also some maps that will help readers follow where the animals are, and where they’re going.
One interesting aspect of the book is that the animals seem to have their own language they are speaking throughout the book. There is also a helpful little glossary of all the unfamiliar words in the back of the book so kids can follow along a little better.
While the book does have a nice message about treating animals and habitats with respect, there are some points in the book where it just seems the message is pushed a little too far. It seems to go from a subtle message to being mentioned quite often that a lot of people are bad for what they do to the environment and the animals. Again, while the message is a good one, it seems to get a little preachy after a while.
I would say that Lewis the Lemur is a good story
for kids. They will likely find the
animals lovable, and hopefully they will want to respect other
reading the book. There is also listed a
supplemental lesson guide that could be good for class discussions and