Welcome to the Destiny Finds Her Way Blog Tour & Giveaway!
To celebrate the release of Destiny Finds Her Way by Newbery Honor winner Margarita Engle, I’m hosting photographer Sam Trull, the co-founder and Executive Director of The Sloth Institute — a sloth rescue organization based in Costa Rica.
in Destiny Finds Her Way, these two amazingly talented women teamed up to bring an inspiring, true story. It’s a story for readers everywhere to learn more about sloths and the work being done to protect them.
Tips for How to Be a Responsible Sloth Tourist
by Photographer and The Sloth Institute Executive Director Sam Trull
- SAY NO TO SLOTH SELFIES!
Don’t visit any facility, in any country, that allows you to touch, feed or take a photo with a sloth. Sloths in these situations are being exploited for money and do not contribute to their conservation in the wild. In Costa Rica, this practice is illegal because it is not in the best interest of the animals. In countries like the US this practice is unfortunately legal, but you will find that the facilities that allow this often purchase baby sloths directly from the wild to train them for these practices. This often leads to their death from poor diet at a young age and always leads to their direct lack of freedom to support this industry.
- SLOTHS ARE NOT PETS!
This should go without saying, but sloths are wild animals that belong in the wild and only want to stay there. Never purchase a sloth to keep for yourself. They would not be happy and would likely die from an improper diet and stress.
When sloths are in the wild, make sure to:
- Keep a safe distance — sloths get easily stressed by strange noises and smells. When this happens, they freeze and no longer climb because they are afraid that a predator is near! Give sloths their space so they can go about their day.
- Don’t use bug spray or smoke near a sloth — they have very sensitive lungs that can easily be disturbed by such chemicals.
- Don’t use flash photography. Sloths have sensitive eyes and again can be easily scared into not moving for a long time.
- Whisper when you see a sloth nearby in the wild. The sound of your voice could scare them and make them stop doing the sloth things that they need to do!
- Drive safely. Sloths are very slow when crossing the ground so if they ever need to cross a road they will never make it across before a car. Drive slowly and keep an eye out so you can stop in case a sloth is in the way!
- Support Sloth Friendly businesses. Do your research on how the places you want to stay, shop and visit treat the environment. Keep an eye out for conservation gaslighting. Many businesses say they are eco-friendly to get attention, but really aren’t.
All photos by Sam Trull
About Destiny Finds Her Way
This nonfiction hardcover picture book is for readers ages 4-8 and is published by National Geographic Kids Books.
Newbery Honor winner Margarita Engle and photographer and Sloth Institute Executive Director Sam Trull share the inspiring and true story of Destiny, a motherless baby sloth, sightless in one eye and rescued by Sam in the Costa Rican rain forest, defies the odds, overcomes her obstacles of limited sight and learns the skills she will need to return to her wild, forest home.
Without her mother to protect her or teach her, Destiny is found and taken to a rescue center in Costa Rica. The little sloth soon befriends other orphaned sloths. Her poor eyesight, however, makes it hard for her to keep her balance. Eventually, Destiny begins to use all of her senses to explore the world around her. But can she learn to climb? Can she master the other skills she needs to survive on her own? And will Destiny be brave enough to return to her wild, forest home?
In addition to learning about Destiny and her journey, readers are immersed in the world of sloths and sloth rescue in this uplifting story about overcoming obstacles and believing in yourself.
About the Author Margarita Engle:
Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of many verse novels, memoirs, and picture books, including The Surrender Tree, Enchanted Air, Drum Dream Girl, and Dancing Hands. Awards include a Newbery Honor, Pura Belpré, Golden Kite, Walter, Jane Addams, PEN U.S.A., and NSK Neustadt, among others. Margarita served as the national 2017-2019 Young People’s Poet Laureate. She is a three-time U.S. nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Book Award. Her most recent books are Rima’s Rebellion, Singing With Elephants, and Destiny Finds Her Way. Her next young adult verse novel is Wings in the Wild, and her next picture book is Water Day.
Margarita was born in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother’s homeland during childhood summers with relatives on the island. She studied agronomy and botany along with creative writing, and now lives in central California with her husband.
About the Photographer Sam Trull:
Sam Trull has been a photographer and a wildlife biologist for decades. After many expeditions to Madagascar, West Africa, and Central America, in January 2013, she settled in Costa Rica, where she co-founded and is the executive director of the Sloth Institute. Her first photo book, Slothlove, was published in April 2016.
About the Sloth Institute:
The Sloth Institute (TSI) is a nonprofit organization located in Costa Rica with the mission to enhance and expand the welfare and conservation of sloths through rescue, rehabilitation, release, research, and education. In addition, TSI works on targeted conservation projects to improve the safety and quality of sloth habitats and teaches other rescue centers how to better care for and release their sloths. TSI believes that all sloths were born to be wild and deserve that second chance at freedom.
DESTINY FINDS HER WAY GIVEAWAY
- One (1) winner will receive a copy of Destiny Finds Her Way
- US/Canada only
- Ends 3/17 at 11:59 pm ET
- Enter via the Rafflecopter below
- Visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!
Blog Tour Schedule:
March 6th — Pragmatic Mom
March 7th — Heise Reads and Recommends
March 8th – Mom Read It
March 9th — Unleashing Readers
March 10th — Imagination Soup