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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

The Midnight Panther by Poonam Mistry

This fable has the makings of a classic. It tells of a panther who frolics merrily through the forest in the day, but at night, is too afraid to climb the treetops.

The other cats - lion, tiger and leopard - scorn him for being different, so he runs away. He experiments with copying the other cats: marking his fur with pollen like a tiger’s “fearless” bold stripes, using feathers to recreate the blazing golden mane of the lion, and sticking leaves on himself as if they are the leopard’s dazzling spots.

However, his endeavours are thwarted by the elements, and his heart sinks… until the moon appears, and its enchantment upon him sees him scaling the tree, unafraid. The glowing moon helps him realise he has his own special gift: he is the colour of the night, and like the moon, nighttime is when he truly shines.

The beautifully worded text is perfect for reading aloud and Mistry’s artwork - like a cross between paisley and mehndi - is exquisite and unique; the striking indigo cover and endpapers are a nice nod to the nighttime theme.

Reviewer: Stacey Anyan

Allen & Unwin


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