The Climbers


Alma has been warned that beyond the town wall is danger- fierce animals and settlers. Yet still she wants to explore. ‘How could you know something wasn’t worth seeing if you had never seen it?‘ she wonders.

When Alma ventures into the bejewelled spectacle of the forest, eventually, she  discovers Star Bear. Through her secretive care, he grows and becomes her friend. Alma determines to show her fellow townspeople they have nothing to fear from the outside, and presents him to them. Their reaction forces her into retreat, beyond the forest, into the mountains, the city and the desert. Along the way, Alma and Star Bear encounter other fears, and other exiles.

‘The Climbers‘ is an allegory of tolerance, curiosity, vision and empathy. This is a compassionate near-fable resonating laden with intention and hope. Alette Straathof’s rich, insightful pictures emphasise emphasise the meaning.


The Climbers

Ali Standish, illustrated by Alette Straathof

(Stripes)- hardback

Alma’s stern uncle warns her that the forest beyond the town is full of terrible beasts. Yet still Alma yearns to explore. Alma sees potential beyond the Mayor’s shaking fists. Settlers? Mountains? Wild beasts? It all proves too much for Alma, who runs into the cool air of the forest, yellow lizards, welcoming songs, and a cry….


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