Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wombles by Elisabeth Beresford

Every once in a while I read a book and then desperately wish I had a kid I could grab....listen to me read this to you! Yes, I read picturebooks aloud in storytime, but it's not ENOUGH. Anyhow, I've thought and thought and can't figure out a way to do read-aloud programs for older kids that a. I can fit in my schedule and b. anybody would come to.

But this book has such charm.....that's a rather neglected term, for the reason (in my opinion) that charm isn't really something written today. Not sickly-sweet, sentimental, or twee, but good, robust charm. And it really only works with animal stories, at least for me. Wind in the Willows, Wakefield's Bottersnikes and Gumbles, L. M. Boston (sometimes) and now....The Wombles by Elizabeth Beresford. These teddy-bear like creatures live in a comfy burrow and have their own little squabbles, habits, and individual lives. They also have little excitements and tragedies, feasts and adventures....

I still don't think I've really defined what I'm saying...maybe it's written as adult animals that behave like children, as in Wind in the Willows? Or Paddington. Hmm....that might be it. It's sort of a bridge between adult and child.

Well, whatever, maybe you all can figure out what I mean.

Verdict: I don't think the majority of contemporary children will appreciate this. Sigh. Find a used copy for yourself if you feel the urge.

ISBN: N/A; Published by various publishers at different times. Mostly out of print, but I think you can find newer in print versions in the UK, through Book Depository; Received copy from Bookmooch

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