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The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  12,143 ratings  ·  1,160 reviews
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles was the second children’s novel ever written by Julie Andrews, the beloved star of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Perfect for young readers who love whimsical stories about magic!

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful
Hardcover, 25th Anniversary Edition, 209 pages
Published 1999 by HarperCollins (first published 1974)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
'Faugh' and 'pifflesticks' to those who think this book doesn't retain the charm and magic of when we experienced it as children. As professor Savant sadly says, 'those people have lost their imagination entirely'.

If you, as an adult, still look for fairies in the shadows around streams, see the massive shapes of mythical beasts in clouds, or laugh at the oddest things, finding joy and amusement where others scowl discouragingly - then there is still hope for you!

Every part of this book is joy a
Petra-X Off having adventures
Oct 19, 2015 marked it as books-reviewed-but-not-read
Recommended to Petra-X Off having adventures by: Anna Kļaviņa
The title of this book could just as easily be pulp porn as a children's book. In fact the first time I saw the title I really did think it was about something else Really Big. But there are lots of these innuendos hidden in children's books from

Shel Silverstein's The Missing Piece Meets the Big O,
Tom Swift and His Big Dirigible,
The Muffin Muncher
Dr. Seuss's The Pocket Book of Boners
Games You Can Play With Your Pussy
or in song, Chuck Berry's children's sing-a-long number My Ding a Ling (lyri
Yes, this is written by Julie Andrews, that Julie Andrews. Mary Poppins wrote this book. I would love to hear her narrate this story. She is a good author too. She painted lovely pictures and I enjoyed her English dialect. She has a good ear for dialogue and her imagination and world building is very good.

This story was written in 1974, a very good year I must say. One of the plot points is DNA. I am assuming this was a cutting edge topic during that day. She melds science and belief together so
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: 'I assure you that the Wangdoodle exists,' said the man. 'Look it up in your dictionary when you get home. '
'What does it look like?' asked Lindy.
'That's rather hard to describe. It's a little like a moose - or a horse, perhaps. But with fantastic horns. And I believe it has rather short legs.'
'Where does it live?' enquired Tom.
'Oh,far, far away......'

THE BLURB: The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles was the second children’s novel ever written by Julie Andrews, the beloved star of
Miss Mitchell
Nov 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I first read this when I was about 12, and have re-read it at least 10 times. I adore this book and its message to never give up your imagination. My random thoughts on this book:
+ I think it is actually a much more poignant book to read as an adult.
+ When I was 12, I wanted to be in an all-girl band (Gem was huge then) called "Crash Pink"
+ As an adult who spent over 12 years working in professional theatre, I finally saw some of Prague's black-light theatre (with amazing dance and puppet-work
jv poore
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
We finished this today and Boy was so happy to have it done. I thought it was a groovy little story, but I most certainly would not have chosen it for an entire elementary school to read.

Of course, no one asked me.

I'm not bitter about that. Really.
***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ******
Actually, Boy is reading this book, along with everyone else in his Elementary school, but because he is nice, he is allowing me to read it with him. Every year the school chooses one book f
Jeanette (Again)
3.5 stars for this one.

I got really depressed when I started reading this book because Julie Andrews lied to me. She says in the intro about the Whangdoodle: "I had discovered him in my Webster's Dictionary. I assure you he is there. Go look him up." Um, there is NO "whangdoodle" in my big fat herkin' Webster's New World Dictionary. I looked three times. Julie Andrews lied to me. That's so depressing. It's like having frigging Mary Poppins lie to you!

My favorite things about Whangdoodleland:

Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-library
Okay, maybe I'm a little loose with the 5 star ratings...but, for me, this book is totally worth the 5 stars.

I never read this one as a child and read it recently only for book club. The theme was about rediscovering childhood and YA books as adults. I loved this. I love the whimisical nature of the book. I love how often they talk about sweets. I love Julie Andrews.

Yes, whangdoodle sounds like a dirty word. But, if you get your mind out of the gutter, its actually a pretty fun word to say. Say
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Maybe I've been watching too much SVU, but there's something discomfiting about a bunch of kids following a man they met at the zoo to a secluded cabin so they can go on adventures they're not allowed to tell their parents about. Luckily there's a great message - you need to believe in your dreams or your imagination or something. And science is a modern-day religion. And genetically engineering a spouse for yourself is the wave of the future. You know, good stuff for kids. ...more
Kellyn Roth
One of my favorite books as a child, I still adore The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. It's a creative fantasy that makes you think and dream. It was one of those books that got me reading independently as a kid, and I've read it several times since then.

And just let me say that I can still smell marshmallows in a marshmallow-less room. :P

~Kellyn Roth, Reveries Reviews
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Whew...just got back from an amazing adventure. Oh yes...was back from Whangdoodleland and I have much to tell.

Saw the book first at Booksale. Wasn't able to buy it though coz when I got the chance, I couldn't find it anymore. I was lucky enough to buy a copy at Lopues East. And whoa...cheaper.

I was curious about the book. Not to mention it's written by Julie (Andrews) Edwards. It's about this rare magical creature called 'whangdoodle' who isolated himself from humanity to save his life from ext
The Hofs
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was my all time favorite book growing up. Remembering saving my quarters to purchase it. I should have known I would become a bibliophile! It was great fun describing the machinations of actually BUYING the book to my children, pre internet, massive bookstore days. Managing to get out of the small farming town and having to walk down main street in Ventura CA to the ONLY bookstore around. Of course, they did not have the book so I had to place the order and wait, wait, wait for it to arrive ...more
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was very fun to read and I connected to Lindy, the youngest sibling, a lot because I have been the youngest in my family for ages. I wasn't able to connect to everything, like the moments when the "Prock", the antagonist, uses Lindy's innocents to know what professor Savant is up to because I've never been in a situation like Lindy. I can also connect with Lindy because of how the siblings treat her. Not in a bad way but just how they treat her in general. Like manipulating her to knoc ...more
Allison Tebo
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, own
A delightful and magical romp. Romp is the defining word here - magic ice cream machines, a ship called the Jolly Roger that sails via the energy of laughs and jokes, motorcycles creatures . . . the fun is endless. There were several times when I was laughing out loud - a rarity for me.

I read the book in one sitting and was transported on the most wild adventure - where the plot twists are just as scrumptious and complex as the delightful words that permeate the book - words like Whangdoodle, G
Alex Ankarr
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit, classics
Sooooo amazing. One of the greatest kids' books ever written. And by Julie Andrews - yes, that Julie Andrews! A lady who clearly has an incredible mind and imagination. Every kid should read this book. ...more
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!
Recommended to Sade by: i found this book in my basement
There are many things you learn from books. You learn about new worlds, imagination, and how to believe. Well, this book acquires all of these things. “The last of the really great Whangdoodles” is such a good book for the young and old. It is one of my favorite books because it made my imagination 10x’s stronger than it was before. This book deals with good and bad mythical creatures, beautiful landscapes, and a very difficult quest. The things I liked most about this book was the professor, th ...more
Mar 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
Julie Andrews, it is safe to say, is very cool. She told us that the hills were alive in The Sound of Music. James Garner was attracted to her in Victor/Victoria (even when he thought she was a man). More recently, Andrews has held her own next to the Plaza's favorite resident in Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime. Oh, and she was Mary Poppins (and Millie) before Mary Poppins (and Thoroughly Modern Millie) got all trendy with Broadway show(s).

In between all of her amazing film credi
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: unicorns
It truly is indeed the best fantasy book I have ever read. The adventure of an old professor and three little children; Benjamin, Thomas, and Melinda. I find that stories with younger children as the main characters have such a thrill to them. Even stories with old people as main characters are lovely, because you know it will not be some stupid nonsense story, it will have some meaning, no matter how small. Little children have amazing adventures, beyond your wildest imagination, it makes you r ...more
I love this book!! When I found my original copy to be ripped up and tattered, I immediately bought another copy (with the 30th anniversary cover) and kept both!

This story begins on Sunday, October 29, and the fall season definitely takes center stage with crisp air, cool nights, and Halloween preparations. (I was going to read this closer to fall, but I couldn't wait that long for a reread!) On an afternoon trip to the zoo Ben, Tom, and Lindy meet Professor Savant and their lives are changed fo
Jul 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, childrens
I haven't read this book in many, many years, and I had fun reading it as an adult. (I did, however, have to suspend my concerns about the Potter children being told by the professor, a relative stranger at the time, to keep their project a secret from their parents. A mother's perspective, I suppose.)

A tale of complete fantasy that's simple and fun and sweet. I'm looking forward to reading this to my own kids someday.

I would probably give this four stars as an adult, but I remember being so enc
Nov 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review by Karen, intended for young readers:

What’s a whangdoodle? According to my dictionary, it’s “a fanciful creature of undefined nature.” That’s not a lot of detail, so I think I’d really like to see one in person. Wouldn’t you? That’s definitely how the characters feel in The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards!

Lindy, Tom, Ben, and their friend Professor Savant are all determined to meet the only remaining whangdoodle in the world, and so they embark on a fantasti
Gabriella Reeves
Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals — the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, "oily" Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with "peace, love and a sense of fun"— apart from and forgotten by people.

But not
Jan 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a classic children's fantasy book! I'm kind of disappointed that I didn't get to read it as a kid, but I am glad that I found it later on. It seems like it would make a really great read-aloud to a group of students. As often seen in children's fiction, a lot of it is really convenient, parts of it are really predictable, but it all makes for a great story, and there are some great suspenseful bits along the way. There are a lot of smaller conflicts that quickly get resolved, under ...more
Mar 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
A 3 from me, but a 4 from my six year old daughter. We both thought it started out slow but got better as it progressed. I really had an issue with the setup - 3 siblings meet a strange old man, secretly go to his home and return numerous times for adventures of which they must promise not to tell their parents! My daughter even picked up on it, remarking that they probably should be talking to strangers.

Whangdoodle is a great example of what happens when characters are not developed fully. At o
Aug 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is pure fun!

I stumbled upon our tattered edition with the red sky, golden river, and blue grass when skimming the book shelf and remembered how much I loved this book. I had read it many times during elementary school; it was a beloved favorite.

I thought that as this is a whimsical imagination story, it would not call up images as other, more realistic books do. Instead, I found myself living the story more than I had in a while, feeling Lindy's terror at the Prock, being in Ben's shoe
C.J. Milbrandt
The Potter children are at the zoo, discussing what sort of animal they might like to take home, when a stranger speaks up. "Have you ever considered a Whangdoodle?" Over the next several weeks, Ben, Tom, and Lindy spend time with the quirky Dr. Savant, who helps them open their eyes, use their imaginations, and believe in possibilities ... and in preparation to take them to visit Whangdoodleland.

This is a whimsical, well-behaved story with a strong moral compass. It's silly and punny and full
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am torn between 3.5 and 4 stars. I love Julie Andrews and the world she has created in this book. The imagination in this book is wonderful and Whangdoodle land is fun and cleverly thought out. The one reason I am having a hard time giving this book a solid 4 stars is because of some of the narration from the professor. The children are faced with many obstacles they must overcome, and with the help of the professor, they are able to overcome them and learn something in the process. To me, I t ...more
Michael Fitzgerald
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
So much's like a plateful of nothing but cake frosting.

I feel this book has set itself a nearly impossible task - what is the audience that will get even the basic idea of genetics and will also not find the utter silliness of the fantasy elements too childish.

The author makes an admirable attempt to elevate and educate, both in terms of vocabulary and ideas, but the plot and characters detract from this.

It works when taken in bits, but as a whole it is quite unsatisfying.
Dec 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, j-fiction
This is a really weird book, and I find a great deal unsettling. I do not recommend it as a read aloud, even though my four year old is enjoying it. I hate that the children are asked to keep their adventures a secret from their parents. I also an unclear why the professor is insisting that travel to a place where they are clearly not wanted. I will probably not finish it since it is clearly not going to resolve any way I would want it to.
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
2011 review: A magical tale. 2015: I read it as a child and I still love it. I just read it aloud to my daughter and she fell in love. This book is amazing.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. MG/ Children’s Fantasy/ Sci-Fi. Boy and girl travel to another world using a device they power with their Imagination. Man introduces kids to device, frustrated because he can't use it. Read around 1995-1996. [s] 6 23 Jan 06, 2021 09:31AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Children’s fiction. Two brothers and one younger sister. They have an uncle who leads them to a magical place (using something like a magical thinking cap?) Spoiler ahead. [s] 5 28 Jul 22, 2020 12:05AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. 2008 3rd grade book about mythical creatures who helped a girl get to a destination. Creatures' name may start with "wam____"? Title may contain "wonderful"? [s] 5 20 May 04, 2020 07:43PM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. A book about unicorns and scientist - Childrens book. [s] 5 11 May 03, 2020 06:41AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. 4th grade book about an uncle or male relative who went with a girl and boy on adventures. I remember one scene when he told them to close their eyes and tell him what they smelled. [s] 4 17 May 18, 2019 06:06PM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Childrens fantasy 3 (or more) siblings on vacation find a way into a magical world that they can only find if they have enough imagination. [s] 5 21 Mar 31, 2019 04:19PM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Children's book about 2 kids who time travel under guidance of older man who has a clear umbrella with yellow butterflies [s] 8 525 Mar 22, 2019 11:19PM  

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Dame Julie Elizabeth Andrews Edwards, DBE is an award-winning English actress, singer, author and cultural icon. She is the recipient of Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, People's Choice Award, Theatre World Award, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award honours. Andrews rose to prominence after starring in Broadway musicals such as My Fair Lady and Camelot, as well as musical films like Mary Poppi ...more

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