Marty's Reviews > The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards
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Dec 02, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: front-room-bookshelf, to-read-with-the-kids
Read in November, 2015

I was excited when my kids cemented this story’s status as a generational bedtime read when they chose it as our next venture. So this time around I got to actually be the speaker instead of the listener. Delightful.

Julie Andrews definitely taps into imagination and revels in it. The first half of this book is practice in sensory details and creative, child-like thinking. The world that she creates, and allows us to tour, is vivid and full of interesting characters and places, and some of them have an edge to them.

Then the second half of the book, there is a purpose, a drive, adventure, mishaps, and then culmination. The adventures are fun but not too disturbing, still keeping everything within the realm of younger children while maintaining excitement.

The setting and the feel of the story is what I remembered and loved most about it as a kid, besides just the joy of getting some attention from my mom before I went to bed. The story was expendable. So much so, that I could only recall one particular instance of the story before going into my second reading. I see why now. The antagonist is only as bad as he needs to be to drive the plot, and then--under the right circumstances--is not a problem anymore. One of the protagonists has a problem towards the end that doesn’t really fit his previous development (or lack thereof), besides a specious mention in the couple preceding chapters … almost certainly a quick fix suggested by an editor.

But hey. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is about the world, the feel, the imagination, and the sensation of being tucked into bed at night, cozy and comfortable, with your eyes intermittently opened and closed, and hearing the voice of someone you love and who loves you drifting you in and out of a fascinating world of make believe. The intricacies of story and character development can definitely come secondary to that!
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