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Reviewed by Philip Van Heusen for Readers' Favorite
Children love to make discoveries. They are naturally curious and explore what is in their world. With its myriad of unique flora and fauna, the fourth-largest island on earth is a fantastic location to help young people learn the art of observation. Robert Bullock unlocks this mysterious world in Mr. Robert’s Madagascar: A Tale of a Lost World. Using Diogo Dias’s purported logbook, Bullock takes young explorers on the trip of a lifetime. From strange lizards to beautiful birds, Dias’s crew discovers animals never previously seen by Europeans. The wide-eyed aye-aye and the lemur - believed by some evolutionists to be an ancestor of humans - are both encountered. Reading this book with your children will help open the endless possibilities the earth holds for exploration and learning. Discuss with your children their ideas of what other animals in the world may have evolved in parallel with the animals of Madagascar.
Imagine being on an old sea-going vessel at the beginning of the 16th century. Sailing ships were at the mercy of the wind. Being caught in a storm could blow your ship off course and endanger your life. This is what happened to Diogo Dias in 1500. A happy result of this unplanned event was the discovery of Madagascar, which has some of the most unusual plants and animals on the earth’s surface. The island is lush and beautiful. It is an explorer’s haven because of its exotic and endemic flora and fauna. Off the coast, one can find the Coelacanth fish - a prehistoric, living fossil. Children will have their interest aroused as they discover one animal or plant after another. This book has mystery and adventure. Based on actual historical events, Robert Bullock has created a memorable work in Mr. Robert’s Madagascar.