Picture this scenario: Your grandchildren are visiting for the weekend. It’s your first day together. And you’re already wondering, what you are going to do to entertain your bright, inquisitive grandchildren. It was a rather short drive home from the bookstore. However, waiting for each stop light to turn green, helped pass the time. As you pull into the driveway, your granddaughter throws her arms over the backrest of the passenger’s seat, to tell you, she had finished reading one of the three books you had just purchased.
Sitting down with your two grandchildren, your attention focuses on the second book. Holding this world atlas, you begin dreaming up a make-believe trip. Noticing the Andes Mountains painted on the cover of the third book, your grandson points to the mountain range on the map and asks what life is like in Argentina. Picking up this book titled The Lion of Tupungato, you begin to read the first page aloud and soon realize, there is more to this story than a mountain range, a lion, and a little girl.
“Have you ever had to do something you didn’t want to do, or be someplace when you’d rather be anywhere but there? Does it frustrate you when your parents make decisions about what you should do, without consulting you? Well, let me introduce you to Sedona; you may have a bit in common.
It was Memorial Day weekend and Sedona’s parents were in Nantucket celebrating their wedding anniversary, while she was confined to a meager twenty-minute ride to her grandfather’s house. She didn’t mind spending time with him. But if the truth were to be known, she really would have preferred to travel to Massachusetts, Madagascar, or Malaysia.”
After reading the entire story, you come to the last page. “Sedona sat quietly with a smile. She realized her trip across town to see her grandfather was more meaningful than any other place in the world she could have traveled to during spring break.”
How much enjoyment can this approximate one-hundred-fifty-page story bring? It all depends on how you look at it. You might find The Lion of Tupungato stimulates your interest, beyond the printed words inside. The interesting views on life south of the equator, might intrigue you. You may relish in being a detective. Unlock the mysterious code that might have led to this actual plane crash in the Andes Mountains. And with any luck, this fun adventure will possibly boost your children’s curiosity about the world. Perhaps it will even persuade them to inquire; where their ancestors came from, before they immigrated, and struggles they might have encountered to claim their freedom. It could possibly, provoke your children to dig deep, find their strengths, and understand where they get the power to make it through difficult times in life. You might enjoy discussing the differences between the two girls in the story. One girl learns to be gentle about judging others too quickly, while another finds strength to deal with bullying and inequality. Maybe you’ll stop at the end of each short chapter to discuss unfamiliar words, new places, and family values. You could even try your hand at illustrating your favorite scene in the story. There are numerous layers to this seemingly simple children’s story.
It is my hope, that The Lion of Tupungato brings you and your children enjoyment, as you spend time together. The best part for me, is the warm cozy feeling it generates. To read more about this book, visit me at www.leannembenson.com