“The heart-tugging true story of how YouTube star Ninita—a deaf, orphaned pygmy marmoset (the smallest type of monkey)—found family, friendship, and a forever home! Illustrated in full color.
Ninita is the only known deaf pygmy marmoset in the world, but that doesn’t stop her from making friends and chasing her next adventure! Abandoned by her parents and rescued by the RSCF, this tiny, curious monkey loves exploring her habitat. And when she meets Mr. Big—another pygmy marmoset—she has finally found a friend who likes to eat, climb, and play as much as she does. A YouTube celebrity, Ninita’s videos have been viewed nearly 2 million times! “
Sarah Glenn Marsh is the author of the young adult Reign of the Fallen series, as well as the novel Fear the Drowning Deep. She also writes children’s picture books including A Campfire Tail, Selfie Sebastian, The Bug Girl, and Ninita’s Big World: The True Story of a Deaf Pygmy Marmoset. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, a whole lot of books, and her own little zoo of four rescued sighthounds, two cockatiels, and many fish.
Stephanie Fizer Coleman is an illustrator with a penchant for playful color and rich texture. Having grown up in a rural area surrounded by nature, it’s no surprise that furry and feathered creatures are her favorite subjects to draw. When she’s not drawing, Steph can be found sipping tea and reading books. She lives in West Virginia with her husband and two dogs.
What would you say is the primary message of Ninita’s Big World?
Ninita finds her own special ways to relate to the world and enjoy her life; she doesn’t let her deafness prevent her from living life to the fullest. Her differences are part of what make her great.
Did a particular person/animal inspire the creation of Ninita?
This book was inspired by the life of the real Ninita, the world’s only known deaf pygmy marmoset, who lives at the Rare Species Conservatory in Florida. Look for more on their amazing work at their website: www.rarespecies.org
What is your favorite thing about Ninita?
Ninita inspires me! Like Ninita, I also have a disability (Type 1 diabetes), and this can make life a challenge some days, but Ninita reminds me to take things at my own pace, be joyful, and find beauty everywhere.
What part of creating this book did you most enjoy?
My favorite part about writing this book was getting to know the incredible staff of the Rare Species Conservatory through our talks about Ninita; this publishing experience culminated in my going to visit Rare Species and meeting Ninita, who loved my hair and jumped up to style it the moment she saw me! I feel so lucky to have spent time with her and to have received her trust and attention!
“An excellent book for reading aloud and teaching children about pygmy marmosets and conservation efforts.”
“A lively if highly anthropomorphizing text and endearing digitally created illustrations combine to demonstrate how even the smallest creatures can “climb as high” and “jump just as fast” as their peers in a world that supports their efforts.”
“Though readers may not gain a clear sense of Ninita’s transition from the sanctuary to domestic life, Marsh’s author’s note includes valuable context.”
You bet it did. Check it out below!