Journey Back to the Great Before by Zaro Weil
Who says Humans are Smarter than Animals?
A Thrilling Adventure
on a Mythic Scale
Journey Back to the Great Before
by Zaro Weil
Illustrations by Sheldon Helfman
Published by MQP Books
MQP Books - Publisher of Journey Back to the Great Before


"THERE is a sea-change taking place in our relations with animals and our understanding of our place in the natural world, and Zaro Weil captures it brilliantly in her imaginative novel for young adults. As the Jolicoing family (the human protagonists in Journey Back to the Great Before) come to understand, our world is in great danger, and it is only by learning to live in greater harmony with the other animals that inhabit it - realising, in fact, that it is their world as well as "ours" - that we have any chance of restoring it to a liveable balance.

What makes the story so appealing is the delicate, warm and often amusing characterisations of the Jolicoings and the animals they get to know when they decide (or is it decided for them?) to start a new life on a disused farm in southern France. There is Verbena, the confident 12 year girl with a passion for quirky fashion; her 10 year old brother Cosmos with his interest in soccer, animal tracks and getting the better of his sister; Zinnia, the mother, at once other worldly and fiercely intuitive; and Coriander, the father, the earnest naturalist, etymologist and Seeker After Truth. In the course of the book they find themselves thrown into situations they would never have imagined, at times baffled, outraged, amused, terrified and awe struck.

But it is the animals themselves who are the true stars, the toad and the mouse who fall in love, the wild boars who play soccer in a lettuce patch, the Bad Boy gecko rapper who lives in the trash can, the wise dog Karma who patiently guides the ingenuous Jolicoings through the Challenges they face, the shape-changing, Harley Davison riding Madame Aligot.... Zaro Weil has created a hilarious and loveable cast of characters that children will embrace as their own. This is Aesop, La Fontaine, Wind in the Willows for curious children living in a confusing age, a classic in the making. And no doubt, one day, a blockbuster animated film."