Speaking the Truth: A Review of Foo Foo

Book cover for Foo Foo by Patrick Riot. Image on cover is a drawing of a someone wearing a hat shaped like a bunny’s head. The hat is white and has two long rabbit years, once of which is partially bent over. The insides of the ears are red. The person in this image does not have a face. Perhaps they are a mannequin? Title: Foo Foo

Author: Patrick Riot

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: September 29, 2011

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling

Length: 39 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 5 Stars


The mice of the Squeak Republic have been attacked by rabbits! Can Milton keep his neighbors from going insane in the face of an overwhelming, shadowy fear?
Foo Foo is a young-adult parable that lives in the friction zone between group-think and individuality, war and peace, terror and freedom. Milton, a rather ordinary but rational field mouse, clashes with his neighbors as they succumb to their irrational fears. As a recognition of true patriotism, as long as Edward Snowden remains free, so shall this book.


Content Warning: fascism and mob violence. I will not discuss these topics in my review.

Fables are for everyone.

Bunny Foo Foo was something I spent a lot of time thinking about as a child. Why would a fluffy little rabbit irritate field mice? What did the field mice have to say to each other about those experiences after their tormentor had hopped away? While I don’t want to give away spoilers in this review, I was intrigued by the idea of exploring this little world more deeply and looking at one possible way things could have turned out. A story can share part of the truth while ignoring the rest of it, and any number of facts in and of themselves might not be as clear-cut or as easy to understand if separated from everything else that is known about a situation.

I loved the way Mr. Riot blended together a retelling of that classic poem with a sharp warning about the dangers of black-and-white thinking, authoritarianism, and fascism. This tale contained multiple layers of meaning that fed into each other more and more often as the final scene grew nearer. Each possible interpretation stands on its own for readers who may want to focus on one aspect of it at a time or who maybe aren’t quite old enough to catch all of the references at the moment. That is not an easy feat to accomplish by any means, so I must commend the author for making it look so effortless and creating something that can teach a reader something new when they return to it a few years from now.

What a perfect ending. Did I want to keep reading about what happened next? Of course, but I was also satisfied by how things were wrapped up and thought the foreshadowing, especially from the first few scenes, paid off nicely by the final sentence. There is definitely something to be said for leaving one’s audience wishing for just one more chapter. Based on how much I enjoyed this short story, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for what the author comes up with next.

Foo Foo was thought provoking.

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