Every now and then a new fiction author comes along who just blows me away with his or her talent. Toni Dockter is one such author, for her first book, Percy and the Plod kept me up all night laughing and giggling and wondering what, pray tell, would happen next.
This is the first book in a series of young adult adventure books called the "Percy Veerance Adventure Series." Percy is a very special young boy who lives in the rather quirky town of Yoosa, where everyone is a farmer of some hilarious sort. There are hair curler farmers, poetry farmers, sausage and baloney farmers, hat-rack and coat-rack farmers, eyeglass farmers, and cottage cheese farmers, amidst the usual growers of fruits and veggies and meat. Percy’s parents are so busy farming they rarely notice him, and he often wanders off looking for adventure and somebody to pay him some attention.
But when the town realizes that the sun is slipping away slowly, and that their farms are in danger from the decreasing light, the Mayor calls a town meeting and asks for a volunteer to go to the top of Amethyst Mountain and pull the sun back on its tether. Nobody dares volunteer, except brave little Percy, who with his faithful dog, Dilly, then sets out on a dangerous adventure that will either make him a hero or bring embarrassment and humiliation to himself and his family.
With the loving guidance of his favoritie Auntie Flora, Percy sets off in search of the path up the mountain, and instead runs into obstacle and challenge after obstacle and challenge. He meets up with some pretty bizarre creatures, including a vulture with an accent and an attitude, a slimy gnat, a droll troll and his hideous wife, an evil and arrogant prince who is not fully human, two goofballs named Fuddy and Duddy, a blind woman with a big heart, and a fuzzy guy with a bad rap who ends up being a peach. All the while, he fights off starvation, thirst, the deadly elements, getting lost, and being afraid and alone - for, after all, he is just a kid trying to climb a mountain and save the sun.
The word “plod” in the title refers to a very special lesson Auntie Flora imparts to little Percy, a lesson that helps him overcome any challenge and fulfill his destiny. This book made me laugh out loud dozens of time, and when I wasn’t laughing out loud, I was chuckling, guffawing, chortling and giggling over the hilarious characters, the imaginative settings, the adorable illustrations and the simply delightful storyline that captivated me until the very end, when I actually shed a tear or two.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough for young adults, and for us older adults who just plain love a good, fun story that will tickle our funny bones. I am so excited to read the next installment in the Percy Veerance series, and guarantee you will feel the same once you read Percy and the Plod. You cannot help but fall in love with the silliness, the quirkiness and the superb storytelling abilities of author Toni Dockter, and you will fall in love with little Percy, his dog Dilly, and his wonderful Auntie Flora, as well as all the goofballs and weirdos that make up the wild and wacky world of Yoosa.
I cannot wait to go back. Plod on!