Sunday, September 20, 2009

Toby Alone by Timothee de Fombelle

Review by Alicia Ponder

Toby at 1.5 mm Tall, is certainly the smallest little person I've met since the Who's of Whoville, and that being the case the story has an originaility about it. Desperate to save his parents, Toby must escape from the people who are now running his home, or what he sees as the whole world -- the tree on which he lives. Throughout the book we find out that the meanies who are chasing him are also destroying the tree and want an invention that Toby's father so that they can destroy it faster. On the journey of discovery there are chases and escapes, treachery, a little holding hands, and plenty of opportunity to find out about the dangerous creatures of Toby's world.
The natural tendency with a fantasy story about "little people" is to think that it is for a quite young readership, as in the borrowers, but although this story's language isn't overly complicated, the timeline does jump around somewhat, and the content at times is also for maybe ten, eleven plus. The story has won awards - but not that I'm aware of in the English language version and that seems fair enough, it is however a fun and challenging read with an environmental message that never becomes overbearing.

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