When shy Olinguito, the newest mammal in the Ecuadorian cloud forest, realizes that Tomás, an ancient Galapagos tortoise known for his tall tales, is becoming forgetful, Olinguito decides he must speak up and help Tomás.


Olinguito* is a shy and furry animal that sucks his thumb all day long and hides in the treetops of the Ecuadorian cloud forest. No one in the whole world knows that he exists.

Olinguito is too shy to let the other creatures know that he has been listening and watching them––and enjoying the tales told by Tomás, an ancient Galapagos tortoise.

Tomás loves to tell fantastic stories about the strange creatures of the Galapagos Islands––from the poisonous Longnose Stubfoot Toad to a Pinta Island Tortoise named Lonesome George––which no one in the cloud forest has ever seen.

When Olinguito hears the other cloud forest animals ridicule Tomás for making things up, he realizes that these are not tall tales: they are memories of creatures driven to extinction. Shy Olinguito is finally moved to speak up in defense of Tomás.

This funny and poignant story addresses respect––both for the environment and for our elderly––and explores universal themes of friendship, family, memories, and finding the courage to speak up.


*On August 13, 2013, scientists announced the discovery of a new species of mammal called the olinguito, described as a cross between a cat and a furry teddy bear. The rust-colored furry mammal weighs just two pounds. About 14 inches long––with an equally long bushy tail––the olinguito lives amid the misty treetops and giant tomato-size figs in the Andean cloud forests of Ecuador.