Toronto Book Review



In the heart of Costa Rica’s lush rainforest, a touching tale of friendship and courage unfolds in “The Coco Loco Tiger of the Mountain” by Diana Alvarez. This enchanting story, featuring a vulnerable tiger cub and a brave Macaw parrot, is bound to captivate the imaginations of young readers while imparting valuable life lessons.

Diana M. Alvarez, along with her late husband Rick, brings a wealth of experience and dedication to education and storytelling. Married for 36 years, the couple shared a passion for teaching and nurturing young minds, evident in their long careers in education and their personal commitment to their children’s success. They lived on a small date ranch in Southern California for over 20 years and had four children, twelve grandchildren, and a family deeply involved in ministry and education.

Rick worked for 35 years in education, starting as a teacher and later becoming a principal, and retired as a former Assistant Superintendent of Public Education. He held a master’s degree in administration and founded a church on a Native American reservation, where he served as pastor until his passing in 2020. Diana’s background in Special Education includes over 25 years of teaching, with a dual credential in General and Special Education. She has a BS in Social Sciences and an MA in Special Education.

Rick and Diana’s son overcame a speech impediment with the help of Rick’s creative storytelling, which is reflected in the heartwarming and educational nature of this book. Diana continues to write books that educate, encourage, and inspire. Diana has since published her second children’s book, “Ricky the Chickee Sings for the King.”

“The Coco Loco Tiger of the Mountain” explores themes of friendship, bravery, and empathy. Through the story of Señor Tiger and Perico, children are taught the importance of caring for others, standing up against bullying, and helping those in need, even when it is risky. The book features vibrant illustrations, all created by the author herself, alongside simple language that makes it accessible for beginning readers. The inclusion of Spanish phrases and a fun song adds an educational twist, making it a delightful tool for language learning.

Readers will be enchanted by the colorful depictions of rainforest animals and the unfolding bond between an unlikely pair. The narrative not only entertains but also educates children about different animals and the importance of kindness and friendship. Moreover, the type of tiger used in the story is based on an endangered one found in the forests of Costa Rica.

For parents and educators looking for a book that combines adventure, moral lessons, and a bit of Spanish language learning, “The Coco Loco Tiger of the Mountain” is an excellent choice. Diana Alvarez’s heartfelt storytelling and engaging illustrations ensure that this book will become a cherished part of any child’s library. Don’t miss out on this delightful story that promises to warm hearts and inspire young minds. Grab your copy today and join Señor Tiger and Perico on their unforgettable journey.

Purchase the Book Today on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Reviewer: William Desmarais
Date of Review: June 25, 2024

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