By: Lisa Nicol
Genre: YXZG - Social issues: environment & green issues
Published by: Penguin Australia
Published: 31 Aug 2021
ISBN: 9781761041556


A mind-boggling expedition into the secrets of the Animal Kingdom with only an invisible map of the human heart as a guide. (Unless, of course, you count the talking parrot.) What on Earth could possibly go wrong...? Sal has always had an affinity with animals - especially the lost kind. But when two rare and endangered creatures appear out of nowhere, life takes a detour into strange and uncharted territory...

One elephant, one kakapo, one unlicensed teenage driver, one boy waiting for the world to end and a twelve-year-old girl with a very special gift.

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Twelve-year-old Sal has always had an affinity with animals, but this goes up a notch when a Kakakpo - a rare bird from New Zealand - turns up at her window and they can talk to each other.

Then an equally rare African elephant walks into town seemingly following her neighbour, fourteen-year-old Bartholomew. How strange!

Sal’s younger brother is worried about the end of the world, but his doomsday preparations help them hide the elephant.

But when the elephant is discovered the postmaster of the town, Mr Longhorn, decides to use him as a tourist attraction. This is a great moment for the usually unlucky town of Larry.

The kids can see this is a terrible idea and want to free the elephant. When they discover that many of the town of Larry’s problems are being caused by the evil postmaster, can they find a way to reveal Mr Longhorn’s behaviour and save their elephant, all in one go?

This is a wonder-filled novel with themes of the environment, endangered and rare animals, working together to overcome challenges, community, friendship and family dynamics, that will suit all readers aged 9 - 13.

Reviewed by Rob