Jairo, The Leatherback Hero
Author/Illustrator Stacy Erin Myers hatches a whimsical, beautifully illustrated, heartfelt tale of one little boys magical discovery, and the salvation of a 100 year old sea turtle.
Jairo, (Hi-Row) lives in a quaint village situated within a lush tropical cove and it is where, at a very young age, his Papa taught him how to swim. Thus setting in motion, Jairo’s love for the water, and a curiosity of the mysteries below it’s sparkling surface.
On one particularly bright moonlit night, Jairo’s destiny begins to unfold as he witnesses for the first time, a real dinosaur of the deep, an enormous female leatherback sea turtle making her way back to the sea after laying her eggs in the cool night sand. Jairo’s Papa explains to him with deep compassion, the importance of why the leatherback must be respected and protected or one day they will all be gone. Jairo’s quest is realized within his dream that same night. The story’s narrator, a very old wise leatherback, reflects an intimate account of his life and the many obstacles he had to over come, bringing awareness to how and why his species is severely endangered to the point of extinction.
“Jairo thought deeply about what he saw that night, and what his Papa had told him. He fell asleep and dreamed of hatchlings hatching, then searching with their tiny eyes for the moon or starlight reflecting off the ocean. The warm, sweet smell of the ocean’s salty spray pushed through his bedroom window as he dreamt that maybe one day, he would swim alongside a leatherback turtle, a real dinosaur of the deep. On that same night, I heard that dream, an echo in the ocean’s tide, and knew I had to go find the boy who would one day make a difference. I began my journey and swam for many days towards the cove where I was born.”