In 36 hours, Fidge, a 10-year-old white English girl, her widowed mother, and her little sister, 4-year-old Minnie, are going on holiday. There’s so much to do: packing and running to the shops for supplies, including flippers for Fidge.
Fidge is torn away from her packing to read a good-night story to Minnie. She wants to hear The Land of Wimbely Woos yet again, and no rushing through it will satisfy Minnie or her favorite stuffed toy, Wed Wabbit. The next day, the trio is running around the shops when Minnie sees a new Wimbley Woos book, which they must immediately buy. The delay means Fidge doesn’t make it on time to get her flippers, and Minnie’s struggling to manage her toy cellphone, the book, Eleanor Elephant, and Wed Wabbit. She drops Wed Wabbit—then a terrible thing happens. In the aftermath, Fidge is sent to stay with her awful cousin Graham, who will remind more than one reader of Dudley Dursley or Eustace Scrubbs. The cousins are arguing during a heavy storm when a clap of thunder sounds and they’re transported to another world that looks an awful lot like—it can’t be—the Land of Wimbley Woos, which, incredibly, seems also to be populated by Minnie’s toys—including Wed Wabbit. Fidge must figure out how to navigate this bizarre world, solve riddles, and work with Graham to get back home while avoiding the wrath of a terrible tyrant. Evans achieves vivid, original worldbuilding while maintaining trim prose that’s by turns heart-rending and hilarious, exciting, and well worth a place alongside beloved adventure classics.
Delightful. (Adventure. 8-12)