The middle-grade fantasy-adventure book was initially published on September 10th and illustrates a magical journey through the flora and fauna of southern Chile.
Danielle Koehler is delighted to announce the release of the Spanish version of her debut novel, The Other Forest, published by Alfaguara Infantil Juvenil, an imprint of Penguin Random House in Chile. The English version was initially published on September 10th, 2021 by Koehler Books and illustrates a magical journey through a Patagonian forest, lake, and active volcano.
The story follows 12-year-old Olivia as she is forced to move to her mother’s birthplace in Southern Chile after the death of her father. Here, at the bottom of the globe, she fully expects to be miserable and friendless.
Her only comfort is her beloved dog, Max, who soon disappears into the nearby forest rumored to be home to strange Patagonian demons.
Ignoring the warnings, Olivia sets out in search of Max and soon finds herself in a strange “other forest” where animals can talk and her emotions affect the world around her in spectacular yet terrifying ways.
The plot thickens as her rescue mission evolves into a mission to help the animals save their forest, putting Olivia in a dangerous confrontation with a beast lurking in the depths of the volcano.
Together with her oddball team of a playful local boy, a friendly but secretive puma, and a sassy three-legged fox, Olivia races against time to save Max as well as the entire forest.
Danielle Koehler says her novel was inspired by illustrations she made of wildlife from a local rescue center in Chile, as well as research into the Mapuche indigenous people’s animal-filled fables.
“After moving to southern Chile and witnessing firsthand “la magia del sur,” I began illustrating wildlife from a local rescue center, Fundación Romahue. This soon became the inspiration for my debut novel, The Other Forest. While writing the book, I began researching the Mapuche indigenous people’s beautiful animal-filled fables called Epews. This is when I came across a research study showing that the communities which kept up this oral storytelling tradition had a more positive perception of the surrounding wildlife, viewing pumas as guardians or “big brothers” rather than simply a threat to livestock. This is when I began to fully understand the power of creative arts and storytelling as a tool for conservation efforts.” – Danielle Koehler.
The author and illustrator says she is available for virtual class presentations. And adds that teachers and students can visit her website to find free school resources and coloring pages.
The Other Forest is currently available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.