TOOTS UNDERGROUND by Carol Hughes

TOOTS UNDERGROUND

Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hughes fails to deliver on a promising premise in this thin sequel to Toots and the Upside-Down House (1997). Once again, young Toots shrinks down to combat Evil with her rotund, fly-sized fairy friend Olive. A malicious waspgnat is choking the entire garden with thorny, fast-growing underground furze, and the fairies are powerless to stop it. Only Toots—who, as it eventually turns out, was responsible for attracting it in the first place with ungenerous thoughts—can overcome the waspgnat, by destroying the jewel-like “olm” that is the root of its power. After a tedious plot padded with a pointless scene in which Toots temporarily forgets her mission, extraneous encounters with a pair of maggots who Won’t Grow Up, and much aimless wandering through worm tunnels, Toots at last does the deed. She silently forgives her friend Jemma for having a secret, which Hughes never does get around to revealing. Talk about anticlimactic. The waspgnat makes a thoroughly nasty adversary, but its vanquishing is so contrived and long in coming that fans of Hughes’s pageturner Jack Black and the Ship of Thieves (2000) will wonder if the same author wrote both. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-375-81086-2
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2001




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