Tino Schrödl

When We Went to Catch a Panther and Found Something Much Bigger

Three boys, a panther and the feeling of deep friendship

11-year-old Nico, a city kid and loner, finds his life complicated. His parents are on the verge of divorce and he himself has no friends at school. But now it’s the summer holidays, which he spends as usual with his grandparents in the village, where his friends Gonzo and Poldi also live.

When Nico suddenly comes face to face in the forest with the panther that escaped from the game park the year before, Gonzo is immediately enthusiastic about the plan to catch the animal. After all, there is a large reward on offer. As a good friend, Nico joins in, even though this means he has to face his fears. But then the adventure takes a completely unexpected turn …

Here the clocks tick more slowly, you can feel the sun on your skin, hear the buzzing of the insects and the rustling of the cornfield …

Südpol Verlag

Middle Grade Fiction

Original title: Als wir einen Panther fangen wollten und dabei etwas viel Größeres fanden

Age 10+
208 pp | € 16,00
hc | 148 x 205 mm
Publication: 2022

Author: Tino Schrödl

All rights available

Awards & Mentions

“A classic children’s novel in the positive sense, which takes its time for its characters and the development of the plot. And quite incidentally also takes up themes such as differences and togetherness, courage and responsibility. A summer reading adventure with a slightly nostalgic flair!” – Stiftung Lesen

“A wild adventure story in which the friends overcome their fears and achieve incredible things.” – Kilifü – Almanac of Children’s Literature 2022/23

“A delightful adventure book about trust, solidarity and friendship.” – Stuttgarter Zeitung

“A children’s novel of rather quiet tones about friendship and the fight against fears.” – Beate Schräder, YANGO Westfälische Nachrichten

“Tino Schrödl presents an exciting story that features a gang of bad guys as well as a tree house, quirky villagers and a wild brawl.” – Anette Elsner, Thüringische Landeszeitung

“Tino Schrödl wonderfully captures […] the shimmering atmosphere of summer heat and the smell of the forest, in which growing courage and friendship are mixed. […] is an incredibly gripping read. A great story about growing up and true friendship. Absolutely recommendable.” –
Maren Bonacker, Giessener Allgemeine

“An adventure that is incredibly dense and atmospherically told. Into which the readers are immersed and by whose dynamics they allow themselves to be pulled away. The book becomes a page-turner that you simply can’t put down.” – Janett Cernohuby, Bücherkarussell

“A classic, well-built boyhood friendship story with three different types of boys who offer a lot of identification potential.” – Aleta-Amirée von Holzen, Buch & Maus 03/22

“Tino Schrödl narrates a very special coming of age story set in realistic everyday life and does so in a wonderfully calm and atmospheric manner.” – Marsha Kömpel, Mutter & Söhnchen-Blog

“‘Looking at the world through a child’s eyes again’ is what Tino Schrödl has been doing since he had children of his own. He asks questions in his book (“Do idiots know that they are idiots?”) and draws insightful parallels between the animal “intruder” – the exotic panther in the forest – and teh human one in the village. But: friendship can endure a lot.” – Maria Leitner, Buchkultur Winter 2022