Monday, August 17, 2009

Gumbles in Summer by S. A. Wakefield

I discovered S. A. Wakefield's classic Australian children's nonsense last year, when I first read Bottersnikes and Gumbles. "That was lovely" I thought. "Pity there aren't any more". Then a little Bookmooch wishlist popped up on my email. Gumbles in Summer. Oh, the delight! Took a little while to get my hands on this book, but I am so happy it is here!

It's hot. Very, very hot. Australian bush hot. Even the Bottersnikes are getting irritated (or more irritable than usual). With delightful humor and insane logic, the Gumbles and Bottersnikes interact through seven connected stories as the Bottersnikes try to catch the Gumbles, select a new king, and cool off; without shrinking in the water. Meanwhile, the Gumbles just want to enjoy a splash and paddle in the pond they have built; and maybe play a few tricks on the nasty Bottersnikes.

Verdict: These sound like they should be cutesy and boring, but the odd details and fresh humor keep the stories silly without being insipid. Delightful read-alouds or summer reading for kids who like a little nonsense.
ISBN: N/A; Published 1988 by Collins (out of print); Copy received through Bookmooch; Added to my personal library

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