Yara and Purr

The Rescue of a Purring Monkey

Children - Picture Book
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 06/09/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Yara and Purr: The Rescue of a Purring Monkey, written by Yossi Lapid and illustrated by Joanna Pasek, is a children's eco-picture book that revolves around its titular characters, a young girl named Yara and a baby Caqueta Titi monkey named Purr. Purr is feeding himself from the forest's natural bounty as he waits for his father's return. After waiting several hours, Purr's father never arrives which distresses Purr to the point of genuine fear and tears. Meanwhile, little Yara is on a walk when she comes across Purr's father, named Pa, who is trapped in a wire over a scorched patch of earth. Yara is able to free Pa but he is reluctant to get further medical attention as he knows Purr is out in the forest all alone. Yara assures Pa that she will find Purr and bring him back to her home where Pa will be receiving the aid that he needs.

Yara and Purr is an absolutely beautiful, heart-wrenching story and one of the few children's picture books where the talent of the author and illustrator are perfectly matched. Yossi Lapid writes of the two youngsters, Yara and Purr, with a perfect lyrical narrative. The words are so well put that they practically sing from the page, evoking all of the emotive responses from a reader that are generally reserved for the illustrations. The fact is, as a children's nursery rhyme, Lapid's work can stand on its own. Still, the stunning artwork of Joanna Pasek gives the tale that extra breath of life that transforms it in a way that really pulls on the heartstrings. I am a grown man and while reading this to my daughter I got a little choked up. The next morning the girls were so interested in the “purring monkey” that they looked him up, surprised at Purr being part of a newly discovered species but saddened to see it is still on the critically endangered list. From an eco-fiction standpoint, this book is a real winner, but the real judges are children and when kids wake up and are still thinking of their bedtime story—well, there's no greater proof of a worthy story than that.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Did you know there is a monkey that purrs like a cat? I didn’t. It’s called the Caquetta Titi monkey and its babies purr when contented. That’s probably why it’s commonly known as the purring monkey. It’s also on the endangered species list, so when Yara finds an injured Caquetta Titi monkey in the rainforest, she hurries to help. When this monkey claims his son is alone by the pond, Yara knows she has to help the baby too. Purr, the baby purring monkey, is starting to worry and is frightened when Yara approaches, but she gently coaxes him out of hiding and brings both baby and Papa to her mother for her loving care.

Yossi Lapid’s picture book story, Yara and Purr: The Rescue of a Purring Monkey, is a compassionate tale about an endangered species of monkey found in the Amazon rainforest. Told in rhyming verse and with exquisite, colorful illustrations, this sweet story will appeal to the young reader. The plot follows the characteristics of this species of monkey, complete with its preferred foods, fruit, and its tendency to form a life-long bond with family members. The most attractive attribute of this species is the young monkey’s purring. Whilst the story teaches youngsters about this monkey, the information at the end provides more detail about the monkey. Bringing awareness to young readers about these endangered animals will hopefully encourage this new generation to look after the fragile planet on which we live as well as its inhabitants, like Yara and her mother do for those who live in the rainforest. Beautifully told and presented. Loved it.

Susan Sewell

Discover the beauty of familial love in the adorable children's picture book, Yara and Purr: The Rescue of a Purring Monkey by Yossi Lapid. Young Yara is wandering through the rain forest when she happens on a sad sight; a monkey has been trapped and needs help. Hastening to the injured animal, she releases it and begins bandaging its wounds. While she gives him first aid, the monkey tells Yara that his baby, Purr, is still by the river where he left him. Purr, a little Caquetta Titi monkey, typically has a sense of adventure, but as darkness starts to fall, he becomes scared and realizes he is alone. Can Yara find Purr and reunite him with his father? Will Purr trust Yara enough to come out of hiding?

Containing a gentle message concerning the devastating effects of deforestation, Yara and Purr: The Rescue of a Purring Monkey by Yossi Lapid is a delightful and educational children's story. It is a heartwarming tale that is enchanting as well as inspiring. I appreciated the information at the back of the book explaining what a purring monkey is, their most significant behaviors, and how deforestation placed them number twenty-five on the world's Endangered Primates List in 2018. With less than 250 adult Caquetta Titi monkeys in the world, this book may inspire children like Yarra to help purring monkeys. The watercolor illustrations are engaging, drawing the reader into the story and perfectly setting the tone, while the narrative flows smoothly and rhythmically, charming the reader with its poetic cadence. Even though the book is written for children 2-6, this enchanting story is sure to delight readers of all ages.

Marie-Hélène Fasquel

Yara and Purr: The Rescue of a Purring Monkey by Yossi Lapid is a lovely children's book, beautifully illustrated by Joanna Pasek. It is the third book I have read of Lapid children's books and have always loved the vivid and bright pictures, the rhyming texts, the messages shared with our youth. Yara and Purr is a volume meant to help parents or teachers start a conversation about the preservation of our environment.

Yara and Purr by Yossi Lapid, like The Snowman Paul series, is a heartwarming story whose artwork perfectly complements the rhyming text. It plunges us into the amazing and lush Amazon rainforest and offers openings for discussion on the environment generally speaking, but also on endangered species, focusing on the purring monkey. We learn about this monkey who actually purrs like a cat, hence its name, and about a lovely little girl called Yara who saves a grown monkey and his frightened baby. The story focuses on maternal and fatherly love with human and animal love mirroring each other. It also tackles poaching, the loss of endangered animals' habitat, feeling safe and content in a beautiful place.

To top it off, the author includes one page about the purring monkey, which was among the world's most endangered species in 2018. Raising awareness of the risks to these animals and to our planet is essential and sharing an adorable story of hope, unconditional love, friendship, support in our time of crisis, restrictions, and solitude is greatly appreciated. Thank you for once again for a perfect children's book!

Lois J Wickstrom

Purr is a Caquetá Titi monkey, otherwise known as a purring monkey. They are called purring monkeys because their youngsters purr when they are happy. As this story opens, Purr is happily eating fruit while he waits for his daddy to return. Caquetá Titi monkey dads do much of the childcare in their families. But Dad is late. And Purr is worried. Yara is out on her regular walk in the jungle when she encounters a trapped and wounded monkey. She frees him and brings him to her mother to heal his wounds. Then she goes looking for his son, Purr. At first Purr hides, but Yara is able to win his trust. Luckily for them both, young Yara is able to get them back together again in this sweet story of human and monkey friendship.

Yara and Purr: The Rescue of a Purring Monkey by Yossi Lapid, illustrated by Joanna Pasek, features watercolor jungle art that brings the story to life. The Caquetá Titi monkey is on the top 250 most endangered species list. As an endangered species, these monkeys need human help to survive. The story of Yara and Purr teaches children about kindness to animals. It shows young readers that animals have families much like human families. Children can imagine themselves in young Purr’s situation, and be thankful for the kindness of Yara. Recommended for animal lovers and children just learning about animals. The beautiful artwork invites the young reader to linger over the scenes.