A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Spanish / Argentina

Los chimpancés miran a los ojos
(Chimpanzees look into the eyes)

Ferrari, Andrea (text)
Santana, Sebastián (illus.)
Buenos Aires: Alfaguara, 2014. – 174 p.
(Series: Alfaguara juvenil)
ISBN 978-950-46-3733-2

Post-traumatic stress disorder – Therapy – Human being / Animal 

Three years down the road, Ema describes a time when she carried oppressive memories of a traumatic experience on her shoulders and in her heart. Taciturn, listless, withdrawn and incapable of attending school, the fifteen-year-old takes part in a long-term therapy program at the Buenos Aires zoo. Resistant at first, the girl opens up gradually and tentatively like an oyster that slams shut at the slightest touch. She manages to get back to a somewhat “normal” life thanks to Nina the chimpanzee baby, in whom she recognizes herself and with whom she builds a close relationship. Despite the earnest topic, this book’s dry humour and delicate irony make it stand out. Skilfully capturing the essence of fears, feelings and moods, Andrea Ferrari draws a convincing psychological portrait of her protagonist. She wisely refrains from explaining and commenting too much, leaving empty spaces to be filled by the book’s readers themselves. (Age: 12+)