In this sequel to Blue in the Face (2016), 12-year-old, white Elspeth returns to the parallel world of New Winkieland.
After ousting despotic King Krool and restoring Wee Willie Winkie to New Winkieland’s throne, Elspeth finds life in the real world with her adoptive parents “drab and predictable.” When Georgie Porgie unexpectedly emerges through the portal in her bedroom, begging her to return to New Winkieland, Elspeth can’t resist. Back where nursery-rhyme characters are real, Elspeth learns Mary Mary Quite Contrary’s holding Queen Farrah captive in the treacherous Thick and demanding a huge ransom the king cannot pay. Elspeth reluctantly makes a deal with imprisoned Krool, who promises the ransom money in exchange for a pardon. Can Krool be trusted? Will Elspeth and her nursery-rhyme cohorts survive the Thick and find Farrah in time? Must Elspeth choose between her adoptive parents and her biological parents, Jack and Jill? Beneath the veneer of preciosity, a smart story can be found. A rambunctious cast of irreverent nursery-rhyme characters who don’t quite fit their traditional roles, a liberal dose of twisted rewritten nursery rhymes, and lively cartoon art add witty dimension to Elspeth’s harrowing second adventure as she straddles two worlds.
Clever, humorous sequel with a “take-charge, kick-butt” heroine. (Fantasy. 8-12)