'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 26 October 2017

Review: Whimsy and Woe

This first book in a new series is built on the perfect collaboration between Rebecca McRitchie and the highly gifted illustrator, Sonia Kretschmar, whose brilliant artwork adds a visual dimension to the story.

Siblings Whimsy and Woe Mordaunt’s thespian parents leave the house one day, never to return. The children are forced to go and live with their Aunt Apoline in her rotting boarding house, The Idle Slug, where strange people come and go. Here the two must earn their keep by being the servants and carers of the demanding and obnoxious boarders.

Three years on, there is still no sign of the Mordaunts. While cleaning the grate, Woe discovers some half burnt letters that indicate their parents have been abducted. The discovery of a secret wall in their room, gives them the means to escape and the search for the missing thespians begins.

With no clues as to where to look, the search becomes a series of adventures, challenges, escapes and near misses. The siblings get trapped in a pirate’s antique shop, go on a journey through Anywhere Swamp and Sludge Farm, and meet the strange Swamp Master and his wife. They are saved from disaster by Markus who is searching for his thespian grandfather. Together they return to the Mordaunt home.

Nothing is as it was. Lots of questions are answered for the children through many exciting reveals. There is also the conundrum that is the Purple Puppeteer, and the mystery that continues to surround the whereabouts of Whimsy and Woe’s parents.

At the house, Whimsy and Woe are once again confronted by their dreadful Aunt Apoline, who is determined to wreak revenge on them for ruining her plans, and if possible, return them to servitude.

Lots of unfinished business remains. Plenty of strings are left dangling to be tied to the mysterious and eventful adventures to be discovered in Book 2.

Title: Whimsy and Woe
Author: Rebecca McRitchie
Illustrator: Sonia Kretschmar
Publisher: Harper Collins, $ 24.99
Publication Date: August 2017
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781406753040
For ages: 9+
Type: Middle Fiction