Monday, 16 January 2017

Wed Watbbit by Lissa Evans - review

I just love it when the year starts with a bang – and by a bang, I mean a book that you want to shout about and tell everyone to read. This year starts with a very evil rabbit

I wanted to add my voice to the already shower of good reviews for ‘Wed Wabbit’ by Lissa Evans, which gloriously imagines what might happen if you tumbled down a hole and landed in a favourite story, worse, the favourite story of your annoying four-year-old sister?

Ten-year-old Fidge does not want to read again the idiotic jollity of ‘The Land of Wimbley Woos’ to her sister, Minnie. But Minnie has an accident and somehow Fidge finds herself sucked into Wimbley Land.

Fidge has to rely on that endless reading of the story and knowledge of its annoying characters to find out why she is trapped and how to solve the puzzle to get home again.

And if there is one person she would not want trapped with it is her delicate, worrier of a cousin, Graham, who freaks out if his mid-morning organic ice cream is not delivered exactly as requested.

There is so much to enjoy in the premise of what toys might be like if they came to life, such as having to listen to comfort toy (now life coach) Eleanor Elephant, advise on stress control and not rushing into things  –  when you've a hoard of evil, greedy blue dustbins on your tail.

Lissa Evans steers making the nightmarish world of Wed Wabbit, created in the mind of a four-year, old terrific fun, with lashing of jeopardy, while also subtly bringing in complex contemporary themes. It follows in the strong tradition of the very best children's stories – using fantasy and humour to explore challenging ideas, so plenty for adults to enjoy and definitely one for sharing (or keeping to yourself).

Loved the ‘punishment’ room where you are made to eat broccoli soup and crusts.  


But then who could fail to love a story about a giant, malevolent rabbit?

My only quibble is why does Lissa Evans not write more? I adored the Costa-nominated ‘Small change for Stuart’ and her adult novel ‘Crooked Heart’. I look forward very much to whatever she might do next.

So make 2017 the year of Wed Wabbit. Otherwise that toy in the corner of the room, the one with the evil expression, might just be out to get you.

Nicki Thornton

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