Be warned at the outset that the ""fantastical"" Mr. Chu is a three-legged dog with an ivory peg leg (carved from a narwhal or unicorn horn in inja, you know) which glows in the dark, gives him the power of speech, and hides secret messages. Chu and his companion, the rotund, buffoonish Hosea, are sent by the recluse philosophers on the secret Isle of Philomath to recruit a scientist whose ability to control typhoons and cyclones might otherwise fall into the wrong hands. The idea that we'd all be better off if our best minds threw in the towel and went off to do pure research on some isolated island utopia could be intriguing, but this premise remainds undeveloped and the plot -- like Hosea's uncontrollable jet-powered velocipede -- is strictly hit or miss. Beeks' powers of invention seem to have run out after he thought up that ""tiny iridescent peg leg."" We find that this unique prosthetic device can't support all the frenetic hilarity attributed to it, but Becks deserves credit for making a game try at Dr. Dolittleish whimsy.