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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Hey Hilde by Ross Hammond is a beautifully presented children's book, part of a series of “Hey Books” planned by an organization based in Bolivia known as CIWY. What does CIWY do? For more than 20 years now, CIWY has dedicated its efforts towards battling wildlife trafficking along with rescuing animals which have been victims of mistreatment and illegal trading. Once rescued, CIWY offers disadvantaged youth a sense of purpose by involving youngsters in the rescued animals’ rehabilitation process, allowing both animals and youth to benefit from the efforts of CIWY. What a wonderful cause.
In Hey Hilde, Hammond lets young readers experience what it would feel like to be a little Capuchin monkey, living and playing with other monkeys in the Bolivian jungle, then suddenly being snatched from her happy habitat to become a performing monkey. She is chained to a post while people take photos of her, but at night, she’s kept locked in cage. The illustrations of Hilde, at this point, bring tears even to adult eyes. The little monkey looks so absolutely forlorn, until suddenly she is rescued by the kindly Nena from CIWY. Nena takes her to Machia Animal Sanctuary and Hilde finds happiness again with other rescued animals who welcome her with smiles and love.
The story line of Hey Hilde is charming, and told in simple words…perfect for young readers and listeners. The book is full of colour that will delight any child. There are a couple of pages for coloring and counting at the end, but throughout the book, it’s the graphics that really jump out at you. They are fantastic. It’s worth taking a few minutes to visit the CIWY website. An organization like this depends on donations, book and trinket sales to finance its important work. Would you like to help? If so, just search CIWY in your browser and the site you want will be at the top of your results.