PERCY AND THE PLOD by Toni; Illus. by Amy Smith and Tonette Twonky Dockter


Age Range: 9 - 12
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A clumsy but charming allegorical tale about determination and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Dockter's fantastical journey chronicles Percy Veerance's quest to save the land of Yoosa, which has always been a peaceful and beautiful farmland. Some residents farm fruits and vegetables, while others "farm" boots, poetry, or dental floss. The sun over Yoosa is tethered to beautiful Amethyst Mountain, which one day begins to fade, gradually growing dimmer as it moves further away. The now-cranky Yossians can't agree on how to fix their dire problem, but bookish Percy, ignored by his parents except when they want him to eat his Brussels sprouts, steps up and decides to climb Amethyst Mountain to rescue the sun. Nobody thinks he can do it–even if he climbs the mountain he'll never be able to defeat Grizzman, the legendary hairy beast of the summit. But Percy's aunt Flora has taught him that he can plod: just one foot in front of the other until he reaches his goal. His adventure on the mountain takes him through a Pilgrim's Progress–like series of obstacles: the Trail of Trees, with its road of gloom and doom; the Stroll of Droll; Harsh Marsh; even a struggle with the classic tragic flaw of vanity. Together with his pickle-like dog Dilly, Percy eventually saves the sun for Yoosa, befriending many of the mountain creatures in the process. Awkward language and far too much wordplay weaken this didactic offering. Despite the mediocre puns, though, the whimsy and humor in Docktor's parable of kindness and perseverance shine through.

Ungainly and droll. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-9712201-0-7
Program: Kirkus Indie
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