Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Fog Mound: Faradawn

The Fog Mound: Faradawn

Susan Schade
Illustrator:  Jon Buller 
For ages 8 to 12
Simon and Schuster, 2008   ISBN: 978-0689876875

Thelonious Chipmunk and his friends are happy living on Fog Mound, but they cannot help feeling a little restless. Olive Bear wishes she could find out how her sister Ruby is doing, and Fitzgerald Porcupine does miss the City of Ruins a little. Cluid, a new chipmunk friend from Fog Mound, would like to see Thelonious' old home in the Untamed Forest, and Bill the Human seems to want to go to a place called Faradawn, though he cannot tell anyone anything about the place because he does not speak much.

The animals - and the tiny human - have no way of getting to any of these places until Bill shows Thelonious his wonderful secret. It would appear that Bill has been working on a boat. Indeed, he has built an ingenious vessel which is not only sturdy and light, but which also can be taken apart easily and carried out through the secret passageway under Fog Mound. Olive quickly builds a bear sized version of Bill's boat and then she, Thelonious, Brown the lizard, Cluid, and Fitzgerald set off on a new adventure.

After a brief stop in the Untamed Forest, the animals sail downriver to the City of Ruins. They soon discover that the ratminks, who used to serve the Dragon Lady, have run amok in the city and it is feared that the chaos and violence that they are causing could spread. Something has to be done to stop them. The good animals decide that they are going to need the help of more bears, if they hope to be able to successfully fight back against the ratminks. Unfortunately, the bears, Ruby and Freddie, have sailed east out to sea.

So Thelonious and his friends follow the bears. It is believed that the bears went to Faradawn, for Bill seems sure that Faradawn is due east. Sure enough, after a long journey, the travelers finally arrive on the island that Bill has been seeking. Will they find what they are looking for now that they have found Faradawn?

In this second book in this very unique series, Susan Schade and Jon Buller continue the story of Thelonious Chipmunk and his friends. In this title they expand further on the idea that humans somehow caused great harm to Thelonious' world and now Thelonious and his friends have to make sure that the terrible process does not repeat itself. We are not given all the details, just pieces of the puzzle, but we do begin to suspect that things are not as they should be and that Thelonious may be called on to do something very special in the days to come.

As in the first book in this series, the authors tell the story by alternating between text sections and graphic rich, comic book style sections. The effect is interesting and highly entertaining.