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Review of Wed Wabbit

Wed Wabbit
by Lissa Evans
Intermediate    Fickling/Scholastic    246 pp.    g
2/18    978-1-338-18527-0    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-338-18528-7    $10.99

This inventive and surprising fantasy adventure begins when Fidge’s little sister Minnie runs into traffic and is seriously injured. Ten-year-old Fidge, who feels responsible for the accident, is then sucked into another world, Wimbley Land, a place that she (and readers) gradually realize is the embodiment of Minnie’s imaginative life, peopled with stuffed toys and vivid with unfiltered emotion. This world is based on Minnie’s favorite book, an absolutely dreadful children’s picture book written in cloying rhyming couplets (“But if you’re feeling tired or sad / A lovely hug will make you glad”). Fidge is a sensible, energetic, and resilient hero, embodying British pluck and the value of just getting on with it. She embraces the task of locating Wed Wabbit, Wimbley Land’s new dictator (in real life, Minnie’s beloved toy rabbit), and returning him, and herself, to Minnie. Hazards and roadblocks multiply, including a dungeon, a dangerous moat, and some malevolent blue paramilitary garbage cans. Fidge has allies — helpful Wimblies; her (hilariously) dreary, phobic cousin Graham; a plastic carrot psychotherapist; and a purple stuffed-elephant life coach — but really it’s up to her. There’s a backstory involving the death of the girls’ father several years before, plus a small lesson about diversity, but this laugh-out-loud, roustabout tale wears its messages lightly and keeps its satire and slapstick bouncy.

From the March/April 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Sarah Ellis

Sarah Ellis is a Vancouver-based writer and critic, recently retired from the faculty of The Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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