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Reviewed by Vered Ehsani for Readers' Favorite
The Krephiloff Tree is in trouble, but none of the Flidderbugs seem to realize just how much. Kriffle, a young Flidderbug, is convinced that all the trouble stems from the tribe of bugs, the Quadrigons, living on the other side of the tree, and all the members of his Triplifer tribe agree. After all, everyone knows that the tree’s leaves all have three points! The trouble is that the other tribe knows that the leaves have four points, and are equally convinced that the Triplifers are misleading the bugs! Represented by Fargeeta, the Quadrigons control the Flidder council and won’t give the Triplifers an opportunity to solve the problem. And while the two tribes argue back and forth about what is true and who is lying, the situation gets worse.
Gould has created a fantastical world with many clear and obvious parallels with our own. Issues of social justice, sharing of resources, environmental degradation, imbalances and the importance of independent investigation of truth are explored in a light and engaging way. What I particularly love is the indirect exploration of two key issues underlying all these problems: disunity and prejudice. In order to resolve a crisis, Kriffle and Fargeeta must overcome their prejudices and lead their tribes to a unified vision of the problem. But will they be able to do this in time to come up with a solution? This story is particularly well-suited for younger readers. Parents will also enjoy reading it to their children.