Most people have a favourite toy from their childhood, be it a stuffed animal, a particular doll or a beloved train set. These toys are taken everywhere and are easy to identify by their well-worn, well-loved appearance.
For four-year-old Minnie, a stuffed toy rabbit named Wed Wabbit has the honour of being her best friend, confidant and companion. But Fidge, Minnie’s ten-year-old sister, can’t stand the sight of his beady eyes and his smug expression. One particularly frustrating day, she makes the ill-fated decision to kick the toy when it falls from Minnie’s arms, causing disastrous results.
With Minnie in hospital, Fidge is forced to stay in the care of her Auntie Ruth and spend time with her obnoxious cousin Graham, who has a hypochondriac nature that her auntie and uncle can’t help but pander to. To make matters worse, Minnie has requested that Fidge bring Wed Wabbit to her. Unfortunately, Wed Wabbit is lying, tied up in a knot, at the bottom of the dark basement stairs. The victim of a tantrum thrown by Fidge, they are accompanied by Minnie’s toy elephant, plastic phone and new Wimbley Woo pop-up book, as well as Graham’s ‘transitional object’- a toy carrot.
Anxious to right her wrongs and see her little sister again, Fidge (with Graham in tow), heads down to the basement to fetch Minnie’s favourite toy. But there’s a storm brewing outside, and it seems that there’s magic in the air. Before they know it, Fidge and Graham are transported to Wimbley Land, where they encounter the colourful Wimbley inhabitants, whose lives have been taken over by an evil dictator- none other than Wed Wabbit! If they want to get home again, Fidge and Graham need to overcome their differences and solve some mysterious clues. But Wed Wabbit isn’t the only problem in Wimbley Land. A mysterious whiteness is taking over the land- removing all colour, and turning the Wimblies into boring, faded shells of themselves. With a few new friends on their side, will Fidge and Graham be able to get Wed Wabbit home to Minnie, stop the colour-destroying mist that’s spreading across the land, and save the Wimblies?
This is a fun novel aimed at readers aged eight to ten. The characters are amusing and likeable- even Graham who is frustratingly obnoxious at the beginning. Fidge is a strong female protagonist, whose only real mission is to make her little sister happy, despite any grievances she may have with her. This novel is cleverly written, and the strange world that the author has created is curiously recognisable- made up with hints of Oz, Wonderland, Narnia, and even the Teletubbies. It’s an unusual mixture, but you’ll have to read the book to understand what I mean. There are probably references to other films, shows and books, but these were the main ones that stood out to me.
Wed Wabbit is a different type of adventure novel for pre-teens. It features plenty of humour, a little bit of fantasy and a slightly dark undertone that covers the bright cheerfulness of Wimbley Land. If you know a young reader looking for an unpredictable and amusing storyline, then this book may provide the perfect solution.