Books by Mary Elise Monsell

TOOHY AND WOOD by Mary Elise Monsell
Released: Sept. 30, 1992

The author of several witty fantasies (Crackle Creek, 1990) creates another animal world, this time treating a serious theme with gentle dignity. Toohy is a lizard whose simple joys include sitting on a fence and entertaining in his cozy underground home. When fire sweeps their area, his dearest friend Pearl, a motherly dove who had planned to teach Toohy to read, is killed, while the wisecracking toads who enlivened their parties disappear. Clinging to Pearl's violin, Toohy escapes underground and lands in new territory—on the roof of Wood, a turtle who keeps a bait shop. How gruff Wood takes Toohy in, helps him pursue his wistful quest for a new fence, shares his poetry, and teaches him to read (``Pearl would like that,'' says Toohy; ``Fence lizard,'' replies the turtle, ``someday, you will like that'') makes a quietly reassuring story: Though Toohy says little about his grief, he is comforted; though dispossessed, he finds hope of a new home. Tryon's frequent b&w illustrations not seen, but the jacket by this talented creator of Albert's Alphabet (1991, ALA Notable) promises endearing characterizations and exquisite detail. (Fiction/Young reader. 7-10) Read full book review >