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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Toby and the Secrets of the Tree
by Timothee de Fombelle
Age Range: 12+
Timothée de Fombelle’s eagerly awaited sequel to the award-winning Toby Alone about Toby Lolness who is a mere 1.5 millimetres tall and lives within the branches of the great Oak Tree doesn’t disappoint.
Toby, still on the run, continues his quest to save the great oak tree from devastation by the odious Joe Mitch and his destructive digger weavils and soldier ants, and to save his parents who are imprisoned in the Low Branches. Leo Blue, once Toby’s closest friend, has turned into a brutal tyrant colluding with Joe Mitch in destroying the very bark on which they live and taking prisoner Toby’s dearest friend Elisha Lee.
Through the tangled forests of creeping ivy and sticky lichen, over swaying bridges and frozen lakes, Toby’s dangerous journey through this miniature world to rescue his parents and Elisha, contains all the excitement, suspense and gruelling endeavour one could wish for.
As with the first book, this story can be read on many different levels. As well as the continued fast paced adventure of Toby there is the environmental message that still underpins the story – how the very destruction of the Tree’s life force through exploitation will in turn destroy their civilization.
Beautifully translated by Sarah Ardizzone and enhanced by the wonderful illustrations of Francois Place who depicts the evil of the despots so well, but not without humour.
Already a best-seller in Europe collecting numerous major prizes and printed in 22 languages.