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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Family Friday: We love The Wombles!

This review is a real family effort, produced with help from my littlest girl, who turned 8 yesterday.

Title: The Wombles
Author: Elisabeth Beresford
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: Nov 2010
Genre: Children's

Find it at Amazon UK

The blurb says:
The Wombles is the first ever Wombles book and introduces the stern but kindly Great Uncle Bulgaria; Orinoco, who is particularly fond of his food and a subsequent forty winks; general handyman extraordinaire Tobermory, who can turn almost anything that the Wombles retrieve from Wimbledon Common into something useful; Madame Cholet, who cooks the most delicious and natural foods to keep the Wombles happy and contented; and last but not least, Bungo, one of the youngest and cheekiest Wombles of all, who has much to learn and is due to venture out on to the Common on his own for the very first time . . .

Our verdict: A great read for 6+, (with an up-to-date eco-message).
I bought this for the Kindle because the youngest wanted to read on the Kindle and most of my books weren't suitable for her. She's adopted an Orinoco toy salvaged from my parents' house, so I thought she might like to read about him. I was right! Having enjoyed the book together, I thought it would be a good idea to let her review this one for her, with a few prompts:

The Wombles was written quite a long time ago now. Do you think it's still interesting to read today?
Yes, because it's not too complicated and it doesn't mention old words much.

The book isn't really one big story, but several episodes over a period a time. What do you like about the stories?
The book is mainly about Bungo growing up, but there are different stories that happen. There are very funny bits and very exciting parts. Some of the funny bits are when the Wombles don't understand human stuff properly, like they call things funny names or don't really know what things are for. The descriptions are very good and I found it easy to imagine the situation and the place. The illustrations also help.

Who do you think would enjoy The Wombles?
Children who like fantasy and adventure stories about made-up creatures. It isn't really written for one specific gender; I think boys and girls will like it.

Do you have a favourite Womble?
I like them all quite a lot but I do like Great Uncle Bulgaria best because he is responsible and sensible. 

So, there you have it. She greatly enjoyed The Wombles and is after the next in the series now, The Wandering Wombles. I also found that Bloomsbury have a Wombles website and much fun was had with the activity pack!


  1. Happy birthday to your littlest girl... although 8 is very big really. I'm glad she enjoyed the Wombles. I like Uncle Bulgaria best too, but how did she find reading on the Kindle? Is it as much fun as holding a book for someone of her age?

  2. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Rosalind! She really liked reading on the Kindle. A Kindle was top of her birthday list! That's kind of why I got the Wombles for her to try - she was asking if she'd be able to have her own Kindle and I wasn't sure whether she'd like it that much, so I thought a decent length book for her to read through would be a good test. She did - which may have been a bad thing for us! (But at least she's big enough to understand that big birthday present = small and token Christmas present).

  3. I spent hours and hours as a kid looking for the Wombles on Wimbledon Common. I loved them, but I never read the books, maybe I should, your daughter's review certainly made me want to.


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