What We’re Reading: Gibby’s Great Adventures
Do you know what a Gibbon is?
Don’t feel bad. I didn’t either until I met Jackie from Prime Earth. Although Jackie lives right here in Burlington, she has spent her adult life trekking through the jungle in Asia learning about a species of primates called Gibbons.
While most of us have heard of chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas, few have heard of a Gibbon. That’s because they’re one of the least protected ape species in the world. Gibbons are small apes that live in the jungles of Asia.
Once Jackie met the Gibbons and learned of their endangered status, she wanted to help raise awareness about these apes no one had heard of back home. She founded the non-profit organization Prime Earth, created Gibbons Guardians, and a series of children’s books that follows this fictional Gibbon named Gibby around the jungle.
Now, the one thing that I noticed right away is that unlike most children’s books about animals where the animals are made to look “human” by wearing clothes (eh hm, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, etc.), Gibby is seen here in her birthday suit! That’s because Jackie says real animals don’t wear pants.
Jackie wanted to show kids what real Gibbons look and act like. So, no they aren’t running around the city or causing trouble in someone’s New York apartment, like another famous primate we all know. Instead, they’re living in the jungle, exploring their world, solving problems and playing with their friends and family. They’re doing what the real Gibbons in the jungle do. In order to really educate kids (and in the process, us parents) about Gibbons, Jackie wanted to show us what life is really like in the jungle and how Gibbons really act.
In “Go, Gibby, Go” Gibby swings, sings and climbs around the jungle. In “Gibby & Jeppa”, we’re introduced to Gibby’s friend the monkey and we learn how they share the jungle. In “Gibby’s Great Adventure” (a read for ages 5-9) Gibby gets lost and has to find her way home with the help of her jungle friends. Along the way they face danger, running into a scary Leopard and need to rely on each other to get to safety. This is such a great story about the power of friendship and teaches kids about teamwork, empathy, problem solving and self-confidence.
Prime Earth has been leading a series of Rainforest Events for kids here at the play café all summer long and will be continuing these educational workshops in the fall and winter, providing an amazing opportunity for kids to learn about this species.
You can also find copies of Gibby’s Great Aventures, Go Gibby Go and Gibby & Jeppa in the kids bookstore section of our Shop Local Marketplace!