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Phillis Gershator




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The big roar

The Big Roar

written and illustrated
by Mim Green
and Phillis Gershator

Little Bell Caribbean
(Editorial Campana), 2011



From the book jacket:
   “Come to the zoo,” a little bird says. “Come hear the lion roar at two.” It’s not two yet, and the lion is still asleep. There’s plenty of time to talk to a parrot, stand on a seal’s nose, cuddle up with a polar bear.... When the lion finally wakes up and roars, what a roar it is! Every animal in the zoo, big and small, joins in--squeaking, tweeting, grunting, growling. But what’s the noise all about? Find out in this lively, brightly illustrated tale in rhyme. Then share the news with everyone, big and small.

A little about the book:
   
    Here is the note from the back of the book describing its history:

    "Phillis was a child in the 1940’s when her mother, Mim, an artist and animator, created a book she called Diane and the Animals. The illustrations were painted in a style reminiscent of Mim’s contemporaries, Mary Blair and Sterling Sturtevant, two women she admired in the field of animation. The story featured a 'be kind to animals' message.
     When Phillis became a children’s librarian and writer of children’s books herself, she hoped to see Mim’s story become a published book. Together they rewrote the story, this time with an environmental message, and Mim created several more illustrations in gouache, watercolor, pen, and cut paper. Phillis completed them when Mim passed away in 2007.
     Many of the animals pictured are threatened or endangered, including the elephant, tiger, whale, and rhinoceros. More information about endangered animals can be found at the library and on websites such as
www.kidsplanet.org/factsheets/map.html "

*******
    In this story, the zoo animals take action. Children (and everybody else) can help protect our environment, too, every day of the week:

1) Recycle.
2) Plant trees.
3) Celebrate Earth Day.
4) Clean up outdoors.
5) Conserve water.
6) Save electricity.
7) Write letters and share the facts.

    Since The Big Roar was published as a special edition for the summer reading program in the U.S. Virgin Islands, I was hoping it would spark family and classroom discussion about more ways we can help protect our island home and the animals in our own backyard. The Virgin Islands' Division of Fish and Wildlife has a program to get things started: "Do one thing for wildlife," and a lively, informative newsletter, with back issues available at www.fw.dpnr.gov.vi/wild/index.htm