To the person holding this book: I envy you. Whether you read it for yourself, or share it with a young friend, you are about to embark on an adventure that is so wondrous, and so scary, it is definitely not for the timid. It will take some courage to join Tingle as she leaves her family and the safety of the herd to find her banished sister, Panush. So, grab your blanket and a snack, and settle in for the afternoon, because there is no good place in this story to put a bookmark. You’ll want to keep going to find out.…
What could make a cheetah giggle? What is the mysterious something that Tingle carries with her on her journey? Why did Whizzer coat himself with tree sap? What are yabbla gloffers, and why does Gorbash have so many? What is M’Suma’s secret? What does the vulture have hidden under its wing? Where does Moon-Boy go during the day? Why can’t you see him at night? And what is up with Guinevere, anyway?? Ha-Ssuu could probably tell us, if anyone dares approach his tree to ask.
Keep a box of tissues with you, too, because you are going to laugh til you cry when you see what the gazelles are doing. And you might shed a tear now and then, as you share the heartbreak and triumphs of Tingle’s journey into the dangerous unknown, with the hope of reuniting her family. Along the way, you just might learn how to see in the dark like an elephant, talk like a gorilla, and fly like a monkey.
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The search for Panush
EXCERPT FROM PROLOGUE: There used to be a tall tree in the southern forestlands of South Africa whose base had rotted, causing it to collapse. Nearby trees stopped its descent to the forest floor and it lay entangled in them, making a natural ramp for animals going in or out of the canopy for fruits and leaves. It was high in this tree, well under the shade of the canopy, that Whizzer found to his liking. It was here where he now spent most of his days, descending only to find water or to retire to his tree nest in the evening. The whiskers around his mouth and face were gray. Habitually he pushed his tongue in and out of his mouth past the few teeth he had left, and mostly stared absentmindedly with the red, teary eyes of an old monkey. Often he would look upward through the opening in the leaves of the canopy to watch the large birds circle and sail high above him. He always smiled to see them, but now it was uncomfortable to watch for very long; at his age all movement was painful and done with much effort. This tree, with its easy slope to the canopy, made it unnecessary to leap from branch to branch in search for food. None of his family members were left; all of his friends were gone. He was quite alone.