The Bootongs of Bali
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The fantastic tale of a young Balinese duck who races against time to find his fallen ancestral home, the Kingdom of Ducktopia, to unlock the answers to restore balance to Bali and the planet before it is too late...Classic adventure-fantasy with an environmental message, by an author with an original storytelling voice that will appeal to young readers and parents alike.
CHEEKY lives an idyllic life by a pond in Bali with his family of orphaned ducks, the Bootongs, cared for by Suki. Life’s turned upside down when he stumbles onto a secret meeting held by the leader of the fish, Agung. He learns of a royal heritage, a fallen Kingdom and of the future of Bali – its environment and culture threatened by rampant development.
When Cheeky is caught eavesdropping, plans are propelled forward and he is commanded to recover an old Manuscript from the ruins of the Kingdom of Ducktopia which contain the answers to not only save Bali, but the rest of the planet. But, he's followed by sibling Spotty, who carries bitterness from his past, believing that as the son of an exiled Prince, brother to the long-reigning King of Ducktopia, that he is the rightful King to the fallen throne.
Cheeky sets off on a journey around Bali to report back to island elders the extent of change on the island. He is visited by ghosts of the past in his dreams, who show him a beautiful world that they must fight to restore. Along the way, he meets Star, an endangered White Starling and a number of other friends who help him with his quest. But meanwhile, Shadow, the spirit of darkness, lurks wherever he goes and threatens Cheeky’s mission.
Finally he makes it to the volcanic mountain of Agung and discovers a bead called Eye that sees the past and the future, and wards off evil. With Eye by his side, he enters a new realm and finally discovers the fallen Kingdom of Ducktopia.
But on his tail is Spotty and Shadow. As Bali's future looks as though it is shuddering to an end, there is a desperate bid to unlock the Manuscript with a final key. In a shattering conclusion, evil forces seek to take control, as whoever is the first to unlock it will receive the ultimate prize - rulership of the Kingdom of Ducktopia and effectively, the island.
The Bootongs of Bali is a tale that reminds us that we only have one planet. There are two paths - preservation and repair, or destruction. Cheeky and his family take us on a tour of not just Bali but its culture and the beauty of the Paradise island seen through their eyes.
This is a fast-paced tale that will leave young readers intrigued and with an indelible desire to help make a difference.
With beautiful illustrations by Clare McAlaney, this is a book that will take a treasured place on your bookshelf.
Open these pages and you enter a mythical, magical, enchanting world where ducks can fly and fish can talk. Ducks can’t normally fly in Bali, and fish can’t normally talk, but they can in Clare McAlaney’s skillful parallel universe. She pulls a powerful punch in this, her first, novel. Will the young, naïve duck Cheeky succeed in his pre-destined task, against all the odds, aided, abetted and advised by Agung, the carp? Will he manage to overcome his rival Spotty and terrifying malevolent forces and find the Manuscript, hidden centuries ago in a distant temple? Will he succeed in unlocking the ancient secrets and save Bali from its headlong, unstoppable rush to destruction, perdition and chaos? This timely, modern allegory bursts with energy in words and pictures.Murni, founder and owner of Murni’s Warung, the first real restaurant in Ubud, Murni’s Warung Shop, Murni’s Houses and Tamarind Spa www.murnis.com
The Bootongs of Bali is a remarkable tour de force, which sits in my bookshelf between Animal Farm and Harry Potter.
Jonathan Copeland, photographer and author of Secrets of Bali, Fresh Light on the Morning of the World.
This book is a true delight. I love it. Anyone who loves animals will relate to this book in the way that Marley and Me affected the reader ... Beautiful imagery and equisite words that evoke a magical read and journey through the eyes of the animal - in this case, a duck, who is part of a family.
Stephanie Brookes, Travel Writer & Author of Indonesia’s Hidden Heritage - Cultural Journeys of Discovery