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THE FOG MOUND, BOOK ONE by Susan Schade

THE FOG MOUND, BOOK ONE

The Travels of Thelonious

by Susan Schade & Jon Buller

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-87684-X
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Set in a future from which humanity has vanished, leaving only legends behind, this text-and-graphic-novel hybrid takes a chatty young chipmunk from the supposed safety of his hollow-tree home to a derelict city ruled by a komodo dragon with “ratmink” minions, and then on to an idyllic animal community perched atop a plateau ringed by poisonous fog. Along the way he gathers a trio of friends—most notably Olive, a mechanically minded bear whose flying machine provides a hair’s breadth escape from the Dragon Queen. The illustrations, done in pen with light blue highlights, depict Thelonious and associates walking erect, wearing looted human—or in Thelonious’s case—doll clothing and puzzling out the purposes of the human artifacts around them. In every other chapter, the text and pictures blend into full graphic-novel format, providing needed boosts to the tale’s generally slow pacing. That, along with occasional quirky incidents such as the appearance of a mute (at first) homunculus may be enough to draw in a few readers, but those hoping for sustained drama, suspense or humor will be disappointed. An abrupt end signals future episodes on the way; perhaps they’ll be better. (Fantasy. 10-12)