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The Wonderling by Mira Bartók - what did your child think?(7 Posts)
Looking for a great new book for your child? Introducing magical new adventure The Wonderling that will leave readers aged nine years and up with a head full of wonder and heart full of song. Find out more about the author and the book now.
Welcome to the home for wayward and misbegotten creatures, run by the evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess, who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer.
For the Wonderling, an innocent, one-eared 'groundling' – a mix of fox and boy – the Home is all he has ever known. But with the help of young bird groundling Trinket, the two escape and embark on an extraordinary quest, down the path of The Wonderling's true destiny.
We ask all winners to share their child's thoughts on the book. Everyone who posts their detailed feedback by midday, Friday 1 December will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher.
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What a gift! This book was beautiful both in the reading and in the artwork. The main character of the story, Arthur (No. 13) is a groundling-half human/half animal destined to live out his days in a bleak, cruel orphanage run by Miss Carbunkle the archetypal vicious owner. With the arrival of Trinket, Arthur finds a name, his first true friend and the bravery to break out of the orphanage. Thus starts their adventure to thwart Miss Carbunkle and escape their destiny. There's something very familiar about this story but also completely different to what's been written in the past. You can see flashes of Oliver Twist, Wind in the Willows and even The Witches but it's completely unique as well. My 10 year old adored it and has spent today, starting it all over again. One thing though, the language is rich and complicated. Definitely encourage your child to look up the words they won't know, it increased my vocabulary substantially and would probably really suit reading the book together. An amazing gift for keen readers 10-14 for Christmas. Buy it....as it's going to be a classic!
I was over the moon when I opened the parcel and discovered this charming book. Although my DN and I haven't made a lot of progress I think it's going to be great as we are already enjoying the little bit we have read. The start reminded us a lot of a previous book we got from Mumsnet - A place called Perfect. Some words are a little much for a 9yo but a joy to read and learn together.
Thank you for the copy of this book. My 10 year-old dd had read a review of it and thought it sounded scary so it took a while to convince her to try it. It certainly does look beautiful and the illustrations are touching, skilful and atmospheric. I do wish there were more of them, however, as the book is very long and the pictures rather sparse.
My daughter (who is a book addict) didn't get far with this book which is unusual for her. She said she found it sad. I read the whole book and saw what she meant. Obviously the main character, Arthur the Wonderling, has to go through trying and unhappy times in order to win through and get to his own happy ever after but there is a lot of almost unrelenting misery and as it is a long story it just felt too much at times. I think a shorter, more concise story might have worked better. Both my dd and I felt a little frustrated with Arthur as the story went on and he seemed to drift along and be very pensive without much action of his own volition. He makes good friends but I don't always think these are very rounded characters and at times they feel a little too self-consciously sketched. They feel like Characters with a capital C.
The story is set in a sort of dystopian world a little like ours but with sort of animal-human hybrids called Groundlings who are second-class citizens or perhaps are meant to represent an enslaved ghetto community. The disparity in their treatment and the world order does not seem to be fully resolved but, along with some other loose ends, this might be addressed in a sequel. Even so, there was a sense at the end that there was still a lot of loss and sadness in the world, that hated and persecution will endure, but that life goes on with some joys, hope and love. I assume this is intentional and reflective of life itself but personally I found the darkness at the end rather too over-shadowing. I can see that many children and adults might enjoy this book and I hope there is a follow-up so that the story can continue where threads have been left; however, it just wasn't our sort of story in this house.
Thank you mn for the book. When I first opened it it looked absolutely stunning, beautiful cover.
I read the book to dd as a bedtime story and we have both really enjoyed it. It's a bit strange and mythical but totally transported us away for our bedtime story half hour each day to another world. Dd especially loved the illustrations through the book
she has also started to pretend she's half animal half human .
Quite a wordy book (and long, which might put some children off) but a really good story that builds up an imaginary world with layers within it and very well written.
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