Travels of Thelonious

ISBN: 0689876858
ISBN 13: 9780689876851
By: Susan Schade Jon Buller

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Adventure Animals Children Childrens Dystopian Fiction Graphic Graphic Novels Juvenile To Read

About this book

In a world of talking animals, there is one burning question: Did humans ever exist? Thelonious Chipmunk believes he has proof that they did: a postcard showing a building made of concrete and glass. But his sister thinks the postcard's just a dumb piece of paper, and that humans are only make-believe. Then one day a flash flood carries Thelonious away. When he comes to, he's in a strange world that looks something like his postcard, but not quite. Then he realizes that this is the city on his postcard, only crumbling and decaying. But if this means humans did exist, where did they go? Thelonious, along with some new friends, sets off to find out. And thus, the adventure begins!

Reader's Thoughts


Interesting and enjoyable. It was a stretch for me because of the graphic format but I wanted to read it to be able to recommend it to students. And I will certainly recommend it. The rating I gave it was one from me as an adult but I know several students who will bedome faithful readers of this series. They will happily give it a five I believe. This book is told in a graphic book format along with regular pages of words. I liked that. Too much comic book style just tires me out. I like the flow of words and sentences and paragraphs. But this was not too much for me. And the better thing is the text is not to much for those who find reading a chore. The illustrations told much of the story and make the reader aware of thing not told in the pages of text. The setting is somewhere (hopefully a long time from now) when humans no longer inhabit the earth. Some animals can talk and even learn to read. Thelonious is a chipmunk who get carried away from home by a flood. He ends up making friends with a porcupine who lives in a bookstore and a female bear who built and flew an airplane. Their goal is to get the bear back to Fog Mound. Of course, there are those with evil intent who want them stopped. I can't wait to get this one into the hands of the students and I can almost bet they will be sending me back for the next two in the series.

Michelle Cristiani

I loved this book, and highly recommend it for both older children and adults. It has talking animals, post-apocolyptic chaos, and is half-graphic novel. With short chapters and comics in between, it's an easy read. It has just enough twists and turns to keep interest, and leaves a lot open for discussion. Brace yourself: I liked it better than Hugo Cabret. I said it. So sue me.


Half Chapterbook Half Graphic Novel. This is an interesting read. It is a futuristic Redwall where the animals have learned to talk and humans are gone. I like how they end the book leaving you ready for the next book... (which I have at home). It was actually really nice to have the chapters rotate with graphic chapters. Fun read for all. Grades 3+


This is the first "advanced" book that I read with my 6 year old son in the sense that he read quite a lot from it on his own with myself continuing when he got tired or to clarify things. Told as an alternating mixture of text with image chapters followed by comic like image with text chapters, the first volume in the saga of the curious talking chipmunk Thelonious and his adventures in search of the mythical human beings that used to dominate Earth a long time ago Absolutely suitable for a beginning (K-1st) reader to transition from image based books to chapter books and a very good story for 5-8 year olds. Followed by Faradawn and ending with Simon's Dream which my son devoured after this one - they are similar and you will like them as much as this one


I think it is rad how a chickmunk finds himself in the city of ruins. It's also funny when he says "thank you barbie". By Kip


In this illustrated novel (part text, part comics), Thelonious the chipmunk gets caught in a flash flood that washes through the Untamed Forest and deposits him in the bay near a post-apolcalyptic city. He doesn’t know how to get home and the tall buildings are strange and intimidating. It seems like all the animals here are talkers, and not all of them are friendly. He hears about the Dragon Lady, who has slaves. He meets Fitzgerald the porcupine, who promises to teach him to read. Together they decide to check out the mysterious bear (“Bear of the Mist” as Thelonious likes to think of her) who crash-landed in the City of Ruins and who is supposedly from the mythical Fog Mound, where a community of animals live in peace and harmony.It took a little while to get into this, but about halfway through it really picks up and becomes hard to put down. The writing is not top-notch, but it really is adequate, and the comics sections are a lot of fun and change the pace in a nice way. I honestly wouldn’t mind if the entire thing was comics; it might work better that way. It also has a great ending–it wraps up the first volume in a really satisfying way, while simultaneously and smoothly opening to the door to a sequel. I wanted to read it right away, but it’s checked out right now.And I can’t stop thinking about the tiny human! So strange..

Paul Morris

I'm following my interest in graphic novels in many different directions. This is a graphic novel intended for grade school readers but has charming illustrations and an engaging narrative to keep adults (and seven-year-olds) entranced. Thelonious is the first in the series, THE FOG MOUND TRILOGY. In this story, many animals can speak and we follow the journey of Thelonious (a perky squirrel) into a city of ruins. Here he discovers a porcupine who lives in a the remains of a bookstore. The humans have disappeared long ago, leaving behind books, photos and a great deal of canned food. The porcupine has learned to read and has read many of the texts in the store. Soon the two are off on a journey. Ever wondered what would happen to the world if humans no longer existed? This is your book.


I saw this book recommended in someone's review of Hugo Cabret, so I got it through inter-library loan. I wanted to enjoy it, but I felt like the story was thin. There isn't a lot of dramatic tension, and there certainly isn't much compelling in the way of dialogue. The chapters alternate between comic book style (aka graphic novel) and prose with some illustration. That part is well done - the transition is always very smooth. But while this is the first in a trilogy, I have no desire to read the others. It's not that it's bad, it's just not very interesting.


Travels of Thelonious / Susan Schade / Genre: fictionFormat: juvenile fiction/ almost graphic novelPlot Summary: At a time when animals only know myths about the talking humans who once dominated and nearly destroyed the world, a young chipmunk escapes danger in the City of Ruins and, with new friends, finds the Fog Mound, where all creatures live in peace and harmony.Considerations: suspenseful overtonesReview Citation: School Library Journal, vol 52, issue 7, p129"Written in chapters that alternate between traditional prose and comic-book format, the story is a gentle introduction to graphic novels. The illustrations are delightfully cartoonlike, and they are tinted in a soothing blue that beautifully complements the postapocalyptic setting."Selection Source: School Library JournalRecommended age: 9-12

Cleo Berninger

I keep wanting to write something fantastically pithy about much I like this book. After putting this off for more than a week it is time to face a fact that I'm not going to take the time to do it. So, just read it, OK? It's good, really good and a sneaky way to infiltrate young minds on some dang good thinking. Buy a copy for your young reader friends and family.

Gail Gauthier

I found an e-mail today that included a mention of this book, which I'd forgotten about. I read Travels of Thelonious as part of my judging duties the year I was on the Cybils committee for science fiction and fantasy. It was a really beautiful looking book and I liked the story. I think I made a joke at my blog about its being a child's first apocalyptic story.

Terri Floccare

Interesting and engaging hybrid between a middle grade reader and a graphic novel. Thelonious is a chipmunk who finds himself in the City of Ruins. There he meets a porcupine, a bear, and a lizard. The unlikely companions begin a great adventure. This is the first of three books in the Fog Mound trilogy.


This is a fun, sweet novel for middle readers. It's told partially in text and partially in graphic novel format, and tells the story of Thelonious Chipmunk. Thelonious is a Talker, an animal who has inherited the gift of speech. He is fascinated by tales of Humans, who it is said once controlled the earth. They're now extinct, however, and considered legendary. Thelonious leaves his forest home and travels in the outside world, learning more about humans and the origins of the Talkers in the process.The story is a bit simplistic at times, but the world is truly delightful, and the artwork is well-suited to the tale. It looks like it's going to be a series.


OK- I've been reading a lot of work-related material- so when Amber brought home a book for 8-12 year olds set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans are extinct, populated by talking animals- I said what the hell, why not? It wasn't bad, but its definitely just a kids book, unlike say some of Neil Gaiman's books that can be read by adults just as easily as children (The Graveyard Book, Coraline). I do like the part straight writing part graphic novel format though. And I really think Chris Ware should be getting a cut of whatever the cover designer was paid...


Dieses Buch ist kurzweiliger schöner Spaß über ein Streifenhörnchen, was aufgrund einer Flut aus ihrem Wald in eine Ruinenstadt getrieben wird und dort andere Tiere kennenlernt, die zum Einen die Heimat verloren haben und oder von "böseren" Tieren terrorisiert werden. Das Streifenhörnchen Thelonius hilft der Bärin Olivia zurück auf den Nebelberg zu gelangen. Dabei brauchen die beiden aber noch Freunde und viel Mut und Geschick. Ein perfektes Buch für Leseanfänger ...

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