A Cheerful Post-Apocalyptic Tale for Kids

Okay, the post-apocalyptic thing is just implied.  But if there aren’t any more humans left, then I count that firmly as post-apocalyptic.

The Travels of Thelonious: The Fog Mound by Susan Schade and Jon Buller is a hybrid graphic novel.  Chapters alternate between comics and old fashioned text.  It’s a middle grades book, but short enough and illustration heavy enough for many chapter book readers.

The story is about a young, talking chipmunk named Thelonious (get it?) who accidentally gets swept into the ruins of a city and then on a journey to figure out what happened to all the humans, who have become no more than fairy tales to many of the animals.  The comics are well done, in blue and black with a sort of old fashioned, small detailed style.  The writing lies a little flat for me, honestly, but the concept is interesting enough, both in the format and the plot, that it kept me going reading it.  The story had a lot of elements that I think probably appeal to young readers.  There is the mystery of what happened to the humans, but also several other layers of mystery involving a crime boss dragon lizard and a missing bear.  The scenes of Thelonious figuring out how canned goods work and trying on Barbie clothes are imaginative and fun.

Even though it wasn’t the most literary of offerings, I asked BalletBoy if wanted to try it.  He flew through the first three chapters and declared it to be “great!”  So that’s an endorsement for you.  The story ends with most issues unresolved.  There are two more volumes that continue the tale.

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