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The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear: The Blue Amber of Sumatra Review & Activities

The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear: The Blue Amber of Sumatra is a timely fictional children’s book embedded with real-world problems and issues.

This early chapter book is a great story for teaching kids about rainforest destruction, loss of animal habitats, and the compassion our world needs for humans in search of refuge.

The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear

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The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear: The Blue Amber of Sumatra

Take a journey to the Sumatran rainforest with Joy Sun Bear – a curious bear that lives on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

Joy finds himself on a precarious adventure with magical creatures, tricksters, and rainforest bulldozers – all in an effort to help a new friend, save his family’s habitat and create a refuge for animals in need.

sumatra map

On the day of the great fig harvest, Joy and his sister, Ayu, are surrounded by unfamiliar animals and their families. They notice that all the figs from The Great Big Fig Tree have suddenly disappeared.

Not knowing what is going on, they listen in on a discussion between their father and Keliru, the oldest orangutan. Keliru warns that the “outsiders” have brought a curse with them and evil will follow.

Worried about a curse, Joy and Ayu, stumble upon Tipah, a newcomer orangutan. When Joy reacts fearfully around the new orangutan, Tipah begins to cry. She shares the sadness of how her forest home was bulldozed to the ground and how her family had to flee in search of food and shelter.

The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear

Not believing in a curse, Ayu explains to her little brother that the new animals are refugees and are simply looking for a new home. Joy and Tipah become fast friends and discover that they are more alike than different.

With an open heart and a desire to help his new friend, Joy stands up to Keliru in hopes to make a difference. Keliru scolds Joy for associating with the cursed ones. He leaves his brave moment uncertain and sad that maybe he has made things worse for the new animals. As he wanders off into the forest, the adventure begins…

Discover how Joy finds his inner magic and desire to change the forest world!

The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear: The Blue Amber of Sumatra Activities

There are several free resources on the Joy Sun Bear website to help students analyze the story’s setting, character, and plot.

Joy Sun Bear Story Elements

Setting: Learn about the beautiful “Isle of Gold.” Print Joy’s coloring page.

Try This! Have students create their own illustration of the setting, and write a description that includes important details and examples from the story.

Characters: Discover more about each character’s personality with printable profile coloring pages. Have students create a new character to join Joy on his next adventure!

And yes, there really are sun bears! Learn interesting facts about sun bears that live in the tropics of Southeast Asia.

Plot: Check reading comprehension with a fun printable crossword puzzle.

Try This! Have students work in groups to create a performance (skit, puppet show, slideshow, etc.) that includes events from the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

The back of the book also includes ideas and resources for taking action to reduce deforestation and help refugees.

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The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear