Book: “Olinguito Speaks Up!” by Cecilia Velástegui

Working with authors is an exciting experience. I get to walk-in-their shoes for just a short period of time and experience the passion they have for their work. The book “Olinguito Speaks Up!” was just such a book. The author Cecilia Velástegui was just that. Her excellent choice of imagery for the interior and story to tell created a book that is meant to be on library shelves for years to come.

“Olinguito is a shy and furry animal that sucks his thumb all day long and hides in the treetops of the Ecuadorian cloud forest. No one in the whole world knows that he exists. Olinguito is too shy to let the other creatures know that he has been listening and watching them, and enjoying the tales told by Tomas, an ancient Galapagos tortoise. Tomas loves to tell fantastic stories about the strange creatures of the Galapagos Islands, from the poisonous longnose stubfoot toad to a Pinta Island tortoise named Lonesome George, who no one in the cloud forest has ever seen. When Olinguito hears the other cloud forest animals ridicule Tomas for making things up, he realizes that these are not tall tales—they are memories of creatures driven to extinction. Shy Olinguito is finally moved to speak up in defense of Tomas. This poignant story addresses respect, both for the environment and for our elderly, and explores universal themes of friendship, memories, and finding the courage to speak up.”

I am pleased to have had the opportunity to be part of her dream and passion.

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