Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Little Fur: The Legend Begins

Little Fur: The Legend Begins

Isobelle Carmody
Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 11
Random House Books for Young Readers, 2008   ISBN: 978-0375838552

Little Fur, the half elf half troll girl, lives in a wilderness that lies in the middle of a bustling city. Though some humans have thought about getting rid of the wilderness, their thoughts soon disappear because the wilderness is protected. Seven ancient trees, the Old Ones, stand in the wilderness and they are guarded by the earth spirit.

   Little fur tends to the plants in the wilderness and she has made friends not only with wild creatures, but also with animals who choose to live with or near humans. Brownie the pony is one of her visitors, as is Crow. One day Crow comes and tells Little Fur about the tree burners, humans who are going around burning trees. The news horrifies Little Fur and she tries to understand why humans would behave in such a way. Crow is convinced that the Old Ones would never allow humans to burn the trees in the wilderness, but what if they can’t prevent such a thing from happening? What will happen to the Old Ones then?

   Brownie confirms Crow’s story and he also tells Little Fur that some humans are trying to stop the tree burners. Little Fur is amazed to learn that all humans are not as bad as she thought. Little Fur and her friends know that they have to do something to protect the Old Ones and Crow suggests that Little Fur should talk to the Sett Owl. The owl will not journey to see Little Fur, so she will have to leave the safety of the wilderness to talk to the wise bird. The very idea of doing this terrifies Little Fur. She cannot imagine being near so many humans, and there are trolls to worry about, and greeps. In addition, Little Fur needs to have her feet on the ground at all times because otherwise she will “lose touch with the flow of earth magic.”

   Even though she knows that what she is doing is dangerous, Little Fur leaves her home and ventures out into the world of humans. Luckily she has Ginger and Sly, her cat friends with her. Between then Crow, Sly and Ginger manage to keep Little Fur safe, and they help her to choose a path that will allow her to stay in touch with the earth magic.

   Finally Little Fur gets to the beaked house where the Sett Owl lives. The owl comes to talk to Little Fur, telling the little elf troll that she has heard of Little Fur and her doings. She has heard in the dreams of trees that Little Fur has promised to “vanquish the tree-burning humans.” Little Fur is dismayed to learn that the only way to protect the Old Ones is to stop the tree burners from burning all trees, and not just the ones that live in the wilderness. Apparently the Troll King gave a greep a potion, which he spread to the humans. The humans who consumed the potion became the black-hearted tree burners. The Sett Owl then tells Little Fur that if she wants to protect the trees she will have to visit a place where an ancient power lies sleeping. The power may be able to help.

   In this remarkable first Little Fur title, we meet a character who is willing to risk everything to save the trees that she loves. Her story is empowering and enriching, and there is something about the way Little Fur thinks and feels that is quite beautiful. Readers will be drawn to the way Little Fur and her allies connect with the earth magic and honor the ancient powers who long ago made our world beautiful and full of living things.

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