Pondathon II: New Side Quest! Encourage Xiaolong’s Flowers to Grow!

Pondathon II is a year-long gardening-themed readathon hosted by The Quiet Pond! Help us restore the forest by reading to earn plants and decorate your own garden. For more information about Pondathon, read our Readathon Information Post or check out our Pondathon II Portal.

The story:

As you pass through the magical boundary of the Pond, you see all the Pond friends hard at work. Cuddle and Sprout look like they are working together to shape the soil, preparing the earth for Cuddle’s new vegetables. Varian is over there, sprinkling water to Gen’s new saplings. 

Meanwhile, Xiaolong sits by a row of saplings – and it looks like she’s reading a book. You approach her – maybe she’s taking a break from working? – you notice that she’s reading aloud. 

“Hi friend!” she says when you are near. “I’m reading to Gen’s flower babies at the moment. Do you want to join me?” 

At your inquisitive look, she giggles and explains, “I think these flowers are feeling lonely; they’re new to the world but no one has sat down with them and kept them company. So, I thought I would read to them!” She pauses, appearing thoughtful. “I mean, if a friend tried to cheer you up by reading to you, wouldn’t that make you feel happy too?” 

“So friend,” Xiaolong says, a sparkle in her eye. “Let’s read to the flowers together!”

You’ve received a quest!

Xiaolong needs your help keeping her new little saplings company – and what better way to easing them gently into the new world than reading to them?

Quest expires on: 29th January 2022, 8:00PM NZT. [?] This side quest is now over. Check the Pondathon Portal to see the current side quest.


  • Read a diverse book* to complete this quest.
  • This quest is repeatable. (Repeating this quest is optional.)
  • Those who complete the quest may choose their quest reward: planter box or garden bed. However, colours for the planter box are random.
  • Bonus: Read at least three diverse books during the quest period to earn the Budding Friends badge for your character card!
  • Secret Achievement: Read at least five diverse books during the quest period to earn a ‘sticker set’ to decorate your Pond character/garden accessories.

*From our F.A.Q.:

How do you define a ‘diverse’ book?
This readathon defines a ‘diverse’ book as a book that is written by an author with a marginalised identity – this can include being a person of colour and/or indigenous, disabled, LGBTQIA+ and/or gender diverse, or intersections of these identities – about characters with marginalised identities. Non-fiction and poetry by marginalised authors not necessarily about marginalised characters also count as ‘diverse books’. Books by cis, heterosexual, abled/neurotypical, white women will not be considered ‘diverse books’. In addition, books by non-marginalised authors about a character with a marginalised identity are not considered ‘diverse books’. Books that qualify as ‘diverse books’ are at the discretion of The Quiet Pond team and our decision is final.

Available Quest Rewards:

1. Planting Boxes (4 designs, 9 colours available)
2. Garden Beds (4 designs, 1 colour available)

Note: The actual plants won’t be this dull in colour – this is just a preview!

Save or Submit Your Progress!

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