Friday, February 13, 2009

Travels of Thelonious The Fog Mound by Susan Schade and Jon Buller

I have always been drawn to stories of the future where the world as we know it has been destroyed, usually for reasons not specified in the story, and the new community is some kind of utopia.

This is the basis of the plot for Travels of Thelonious The Fog Mound . As the cover states it is part graphic novel, part heroic fantasy and it’s an adventure like no other.

Up until now graphic novels have held no appeal for me but this one is a gem. Every second chapter is presented in graphic form and this works really well to move the story along. I also liked the way the print size in the graphic section was easy to read. I find some graphic novels have such tiny print they make me tired before I even begin to read. I would still really like to know why graphic novels are always in upper case though – I find this a little annoying.

In this book we meet some warm and quirky animal characters. Thelonious is a chipmunk, Fitzgerald is a porcupine, Olive is a bear and Brown is a lizard. All meet in the City of Ruins and begin an adventure to return to Fog Mountain the utopian society I mentioned in my opening.

Humans are gone but the animals, who now can talk and read, are making use of all the good things that have been left behind. For me this is the charm and the humour of this imaginative tale. When Thelonious arrives in the city has no clothes of course because he has come from the Untamed Forest. Fitzgerald takes him to a city toy store. Some of these dolls should have something that would fit you. This sweater looks like it might be about right. Don’t you think it makes me look like a girl? Naw, it’s unisex, you look great.” After this little exchange Thelonious turns back and says “Thanks Barbie I’ll take good care of it.”

You can see more of the charm of this story in this little extract. When the friends all arrive at Fog Mountain Olive’s mum makes food. “I watched … She put cow’s milk and shelled eggs and ground wheat flour in a bowl and mixed them all up. Then she dropped blobs of the stuff on a hot pan and turned them over so they were browned on both sides. She called them pancakes. Olive put berries and maple syrup on top of the pancakes and we ate them, and they were delicious!”.

The sequel is called Faradawn Fog Mountain 2 and I am really looking forward to reading it. This book would be a terrific read for children in Years 2-5.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting me know about this book. The three books are my favourite series. I have read them all twice.