Taz Tries for the Top

How do you get a hooved, “oreo colored” Malayan tapir, the size of a microwave oven, to the top of a Tualang tree more than thirty stories tall?

Perhaps the question should be: Why would you want to?

This is the heart of Taz Tries for the Top, a poetic story of Taz the tapir who lives on the rainforest floor under the constant shroud of darkness which makes his “snout droop and his spirits sag.”

He longs to see the sun and an open sky. Only the tiniest trickle of sunlight penetrates his densely forested home.

“I’ve heard my friends talk about the kindly fire in the sky,” Taz reflects. “They say the sun’s breath soothes better than the thickest mud bath.”

Taz decides he is going to find the sun…

But his hooves make it treacherous to scale a tree and his torpedo-shaped body is a burden to hoist up the trunk.

There are many reasons why Taz cannot climb to see the sun, but with a stalwart determination and sheer will, Taz knows he can achieve his dream.

Taz embarks on an odyssey with obstacles, imminent danger and adventure lurking behind every branch.

Who comes to Taz’s aid?

Creatures living in the understory, canopy and emergent layers of the rainforest.

But how can a kinkajou help? Will an orangutan offer a hand up?

Taz ultimately pokes through the emergent layer composed of the Tualang’s leafy branches but is crestfallen to meet a somber sky, choked with slate gray, cotton ball clouds.

The beauty of poetic imagery infused with whimsical humor keeps the reader engaged throughout the tapir’s forest tale:

“Taz marveled to see the leaf colors bouncing off the dimpled bark like sparks popping in a fire.”

“He stuck out his tongue to catch the breeze and smiled. It tasted like greens and blues.”

Underlying Taz Tries for the Top is an accurate pedagogical portrayal of the rainforest life, right down to small nuances of orchids sprouting from the bark of the Tualang tree.

The story is a wonderful tale that shows…

With a fiery spirit and a little help from friends, you might find your dreams coming true.