Limpy, from Toad Rage, which PW called "a hilarious dark comedy," takes another star turn. Here he seeks a paradise for cane toads, free from human threats. Ages 9-12. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Gr 3-6-In this sequel to Toad Rage (Random, 2004), a young Australian cane toad longs to find a place where his family can live safely from the humans who seem to delight in squashing them. After an encounter with a conservationist, Limpy mistakenly believes that he has been injected with a virus that will wipe out his species. Hearing stories of a fabled "national park" where living things are protected, he sets out, hoping to find this refuge for his family before he dies. This is not a philosophical animal quest in the mold of Richard Adams's Watership Down (Scribner, 1974), but a rather darkly comic fantasy. Limpy and his two traveling companions-his slow, pugnacious cousin and his timid little sister-are a scruffy but oddly endearing crew. He is the brains of the outfit-a somewhat reluctant leader who manages to guide the others through encounters with militant fire ants, crocodiles, and a boatload of tourists. The often-raucous dialogue includes lots of body humor and gross-out descriptions of toad diet and personal habits. Even death is a frequent source of amusement, from the toads' eerie use of a flattened relative as an insect trap to the companions' unsettling experiences among stuffed souvenir cane toads in a gift shop. Readers will appreciate the combination of rowdy humor and adventure as well as the emphasis on individual courage and achievement.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.