A Boy and a Jaguar – Comprehensive Review


Transfiguring Adoption’s Thoughts:

The target audience is elementary school age, 6 – 10 years old (and adults alike) and would be appropriate for foster, adoptive or biological families. We checked this book out on a whim at our local library because we love wildlife, and the cover art was very enticing.  Our 7 year old really enjoyed the sweet story, and was glad she was able to read many of the words on her own.  Even our 11 year old stopped what he was doing to join us for this book.  He was intrigued by how the main character felt like he was “in his place” with the animals. Our family loved this book and decided that it was a great story about overcoming your disabilities and anxieties and achieving your dreams- while helping others.

  • The story discusses how our disabilities can make us feel invisible.
  • The book discusses the importance of preserving wildlife and keeping animals from harm.
  • The parents enjoyed how the main character continued to become educated so he could overcome the things that were holding him back.
  • The parents highly appreciated that this story shows children with perseverance and hard work, they can overcome anything, and have big adventures while accomplishing their “wildest” dreams.
  • Adoptees/Foster children will identify with the main character because he “feels broken”. This is a common feeling shared by many who are in this situation.  The main character finally finds where he feels “whole”.  This is a common desire for Foster/adoptive people, as well as others who suffer from disabilities and emotional disorders.

The illustrations were beautiful, and very enticing.  We especially loved how the illustrator portrayed the forests.  They were abstract, but  you could still see yourself climbing in the page, and feeling surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Overall, the Crocklings (the Crockett children) and I (Betsy) would recommend this to any family looking for a story that may be more on the serious side, but will teach a good lesson in learning to overcome what is holding us back , keeping promises, and preserving nature.  Kids with disabilities and people who feel as though they have shortcomings will feel comfort in knowing that they are not alone in their struggles, and that there is always hope in the future.

From Our Links and Support Transfiguring Adoption:

Note: Transfiguring Adoption is a nonprofit organization seeking to nurture growth in foster and adoptive families by giving a HOOT about their families. Transfiguring Adoption does not intend for its reviewers nor its review to be professional, medical or legal advice. These reviews and discussion guides are intended to help parents to better be able to connect and understand their children who come from traumatic backgrounds.


Written by
Betsy was born, adopted, and raised in central Illinois, and has lived there her entire life. She is married to a very fantastic, understanding man named Lucas, and is a mother to her dream children: Eli (10), and Cailyn (7). Her household includes two dogs, Cleo the papillon, and Jelly the pug, a bearded dragon named "The Doctor", a frog named Lazarus (who came back from the dead), and a fish. When she isn't managing her "family zoo", Betsy volunteers with her church, and with Boy Scouts, and is an adoption advocate.

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