Chi is an attentive panda, shy but never feeling alone, for her silence means that her ears are constantly ready to receive all kinds of sounds: the bamboos swishing, the birds all a-chitter in the forest and more. One day, floating in the breeze she hears a wonderful new sound: it’s the sound of sweet, gentle music but what can it be. Chi follows the sound as it takes her close enough to a small house to discover a small boy with a length of bamboo: it’s from this that the lovely sound comes.
The boy pauses his playing and looks towards Chi but the panda turns and makes for cover in her own tree in the forest. There all is still and quiet. But then SNAP! a twig breaks and soon after she hears something that makes her heart race: it’s a voice.
With the evening descending, the panda stays in the treetops tracking the boy through the forest till the mist causes him to trip and drop his flute. ‘Grandpa , help! I’m lost!’ comes the cry. Chi picks up the bamboo flute, and drawing on her inner strength, summons up sufficient strength to transcend her reserve and bring the boy back safely home. Thus begins an unlikely friendship forged by kindness and love, and sustained through the power of gentle music. Music that one almost feels and hears drifting on the breeze through the stunningly beautiful scenes conjured up in Corrinne Averiss’ poetic telling and Fiona Woodcock’s almost magical soft-focus illustrations of the story’s setting.