The author journeys up the Amazon collecting and relating stories. As with most folk tales, these are either explanations of observed natural behaviour or accounts of wonderfully unnatural happenings. So we get why the Jurutaî bird sings to the full moon, a girl giving birth to twin snakes, why vultures look down holes and dolphins turning into men in white suits.
All are firmly based in the forest and river environment and are told with an easy respect for their origin. My favourite is about the sloth who climbs a tree so slowly that by the time he reaches its fruit they’ve ripened and dropped off; climbing down again, he finds the fruit have sprouted and grown into trees. Less haste, more fruit – a valuable lesson.
This is a pleasant collection of stories with a relaxed tempo and full of rainforest resonance which the generous wood- and rubber-cut pictures complement finely.