Evangeline Mudd and the Golden-Haired Apes of the Ikkinasti Jungle
Illustrated by Andrea Wesson
Ages 8 to 12
Candlewick Press, 2004, 076361876-4
Evangeline Mudd has been brought up in a very unusual way. Her parents are primatologists who so admire the lifestyle of the golden-haired ape that they decide to follow their example and raise their daughter in an atmosphere of love, fun, support, and plenty of tree swinging. The three of them have a very happy life together until the day when Evangeline’s parents leave their home to study a newly discovered group of golden-haired apes in the Ikkinasti Jungle.
Evangeline is left in the care of her distant cousins, Melvin and India Terpsichore Mudd, who are a truly dreadful pair. With courage and fortitude Evangeline does her best to bear her time with these relatives living for the day when she will be reunited with her family. When Evangeline fails to hear anything from her absent mother and father she begins to get very worried. In fact she gets so worried that she writes to Dr. Pikkaflee, another primatologist whom Evangeline hopes will help her find out what has happened to her parents.
Thankfully Dr. Pikaflee comes to the rescue, whisking Evangeline off on a rescue mission to the lush and highly dangerous Ikkinasti Jungle.
With amusing characters, delightfully ridiculous situations, a humorous play on words, and a strong environmental message, this book is sure to tickle the funny bone of young readers who enjoy reading wild adventure stories. Evangeline herself is a wonderful girl character who is sensitive, clever, and brave, facing her fears with pluck and determination.
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