ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Little Sibu

An Orangutan Tale

Foreword Review — Mar / Apr 1999

A story of the struggle of growing up orangutan style, is how Little Sibu comes to life on the pages of Grindley’s picture book. Little Sibu grows from a young orangutan, close and dependent on his mother to an independent creature of the rainforest. The challenges this young orangutan faces range from acquiring his nourishment for survival, understanding the harsh lessons his mother must teach and creating his own place in the larger-than-life surroundings.

Grindley tells a story of animal change, which easily spills over into a human comparison of child and parent relationships. She displays the emotions of the orangutans so well that the reader is immediately drawn into the story. The parent and child theme can be seen through Grindley’s carefully crafted language. The realistic illustrations demonstrated by Butler further emphasizes the lovable quality of the Little Sibu tale. Butler begins his illustration genius with a soft and gentle representation of these rather unknown creatures.

This entertaining story is not only good in the home for children and parents, but also an interesting and informational story for the elementary classroom. The factual information is strategically located on the last page of the book to answer the curious questions of the engaged young reader. Little Sibu is a fresh and innovative look at a universal theme that can connect a generation of children and parents.

Julie Santilli