Isobelle Carmody,
Little Fur: The Legend Begins
(Random House, 2005)

The brown, furry cover is what first drew my attention to Little Fur. The environmentally friendly plot surrounding a half-elf, half troll girl trying to save a magical grove from urban encroachment directed my decision to read it.

And, while Little Fur's adventures while seeking wisdom from a church-bound owl and an ent-like being didn't fully satisfy my adult expectations, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to young readers.

Aided by a crow and two cats and advised by a pony, Little Fur doesn't know what to expect in the big city, where she hopes to find answers that will help her stop a band of tree-burners from destroying the seven singing trees in her care. Trolls and humans stand in her way, but this wee but determined healer sprite won't be dissuaded from her mission -- even as tasks as simple as crossing the street give her pause.

Rich in new-age philosophies regarding the natural world, Little Fur will certainly give readers a lot to ponder. If it makes a few youngsters give a little more thought to the value of green and growing things in the world, author Isobelle Carmody will have accomplished something fantastic. That said, the story may be a little too dry and a bit too humorless for some young imaginations to grasp.

review by
Tom Knapp

1 August 2009

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