Tag Archives: Parable

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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Summer Lessons: A Review of Modern Parables

Book cover for Modern Parables by Alex Sonifrank and Richa Sonifrank. Image on cover is a painting of a red truck sitting in a meadow on a partially cloudy spring day. A white boy is sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle, and an Indian girl and a pig are sitting in the bed of the truck in the back. There is also a white goat sitting on top of the trunk and a large red bird flying overhead. All of the characters look relaxed and happy as they gaze upon the peaceful scene before them. Title: Modern Parables

Author: Alex Sonifrank and Richa Sonifrank

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: July 16, 2022

Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary

Length: 82 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the authors.

Rating: 3 Stars


You may be familiar with the tortoise and the hare, but have you heard of the king and the sage?

A collection of short stories about the challenges we face each day in the modern world.

Stories that would take you all around the world to different cultures, times, and places. From ancient kings to modern mayors, from vast farmlands and forests to present day offices and from sages to priests.


Story time is for everyone.

Improving one’s character is a complex task that never ends. Some of my favorite stories in this book were the ones that featured people who genuinely thought they were doing the right thing in life. Good intentions don’t always translate to helpful choices, though, and I nodded along as they realized that sometimes you can be too nice, too eager to give others unsolicited advice, or too quick to judge without knowing someone’s history. These are the sorts of lessons that work better when repeated in a lot of different ways in my experience, so I was glad to see so much attention paid to them here.

I had mixed feelings about the fact that the lesson each story was teaching was written after the end of it. Yes, some readers probably need to have such things pointed out directly to them, but I also think that there’s a big benefit to discussing what you’ve just read and allowing the audience to come to their own conclusions about what it all means and how it should apply to our daily lives. Sometimes one can learn more from a conversation about a work than the tale itself, after all! With that being said, I’ll leave it up to other readers to come to their own conclusions about how well this worked. Just because it didn’t resonate with me doesn’t meant that everyone else will necessarily feel the same way!

One of the strengths of this collection was how varied it was. The characters in it came from a wide array of ages, backgrounds, and places. That isn’t necessarily something that’s common in traditional parables or fairy tales, so it was refreshing to discover here. One specific parable might be more meaningful to a certain person based on their previous experiences in life, but there were so many different types of them that I think anyone will be able to find something that appeals to them. I appreciate authors who pay attention to such things and try to reach out to all sorts of different people in our modern age.

Modern Parables was a thought-provoking read.


Filed under Science Fiction and Fantasy