When one young Teddycat’s selfish decision exposes his whole rain forest community, he risks everything to save those he loves.
The safety of the Cloud Kingdom depends on its secrecy. But Bill Garra reasons that bringing just one friend to have a look around is fine. Unfortunately, Luke the Olingo is not the best at keeping a secret. And soon he shows up with his cousins in tow, all wanting a look around the mysterious Teddycat sanctuary. When a young kitten is captured by humans and a rescue attempt ends in another abduction, it is up to Bill, an injured jaguar, and a handful of other Teddycats to rescue the captives and restore the community’s safety. Bill fears the only way to save everyone is to find a new home in the jungle and reunite with their old companions, the Olingos, but he is not convinced the Elders will go for his radical plan. This danger-filled adventure opens with a plodding exposition that gives way to surprising thematic if not narrative nuance. Filled with difficult questions with no easy answers, the story weighs the risks of belonging to a global community versus the safety of isolation. The animals’ views of humans as either voyeuristic interlopers or damaging poachers are unsettling but apt. An open ending paves the way for a sequel.
Intriguing if somewhat formulaic. (Fantasy. 9-12)