cover image LITTLE YAU: A Fuzzhead Tale

LITTLE YAU: A Fuzzhead Tale

Janell Cannon, Author, Jannell Cannon, Author . Harcourt $16 (

Cannon (Stellaluna) returns to the land of the Fuzzheads for this tale with an ecological message. Little Yau longs to become sufficiently accomplished at mixing plants into healing medicines that the Wise Ones, the eldest Fuzzheads, will invite her to the mountains to teach her "the great secrets." After bungling her exam in the medicine cave, Yau goes in search of her best friend, Trupp, who encountered the human world in the inaugural volume about the Fuzzheads and has been away a long time. She finds him unconscious, and summons the Wise Ones. Cannon paints the triumvirate perched on the "Great Arch," a terra cotta stone that arcs against a mystical blue sky, overlooking the mountains. The arid landscape calls to mind breathtaking vistas such as the Grand Canyon or Sedona, a worthy perch for these spiritual leaders. The Wise Ones help her determine that he has fallen ill to "poison from the human garden." Only the thumbfoot leaf will cure the ailing young patient, but when Yau (camouflaged in human garb) goes to retrieve the plant, she discovers human developments in place of the thumbfoot's usual habitat. These paintings pale when compared to the Fuzzheads' homeland, and the message here tends to overshadow the story. But Trupp's fans will likely enjoy seeing his further adventures through the eyes of his best buddy. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)