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The Wombles

(The Wombles #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  526 ratings  ·  53 reviews
The adventures of the Wombles who live underground and collect the things that untidy humans leave behind.
Paperback, 169 pages
Published October 26th 1972 by Puffin Books (first published September 1968)
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  526 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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A proper nostalgia trip revisiting the world of the Wombles of Wimbledon Common.

I used to love watching the tv series as a child but had never read the books. Now I get the chance to read them, to my son, who is just as enthralled with these tales of the adorably eccentric creatures.
Millie Yule
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed it a lot as it was very charming and I liked their environmental message!
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Ahhhhhh. What a satisfying bedtime read.

I never heard of the Wombles until I ran across them 15 yrs ago or so on Nick at Nite. The charming short films were cute without being twee, funny without being obvious, and I loved them immediately. Only recently did I find out there were books!! And the books came first!!

The first volume introduces our friends, and tells us a bit more about Wombledom. Turns out there are far more Wombles than we know even in the local burrow--about 250 to be exact--and
What I'd describe as an amalgamation of The Moomins and the make-do-and-mend post-war Britishness, Beresford's Wombles are a delight. I loved each little story which connect to those told previously. Those endearing, if not slightly scary, characters from the 70s are all there and I give full credit to Bernard Cribbens for setting the tone just right, in my opinion.
When they reach a working age, all Wombles are allowed to choose their name from an old atlas and so, much to the consternation of
Author: Elisabeth Beresford
Illustrator: Nick Price
First Published: 1968

I didn't read the books when I was younger. My exposure to the Wombles was via the TV series (which I enjoyed). I don't think I even knew Womble books existed.

It was a very pleasant surprise to find that they did.

And even nicer to be able to share them with the 7yo.

We really enjoyed this, the first book in the Womble series. My daughter came in knowing nothing about them, and so was left with her imagination and limited book
Christine Blachford
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Call me a fool, but I hadn’t realised the Wombles were in a book before they were on television. I’ve enjoyed their programme and I know of some of their ways, I know they wish me a Wombling Merry Christmas but when I saw there was a book and did a bit of investigation, I realised I didn’t know very much about the Wombles at all!

So, to start at the beginning was glorious, and this book is so lovely. A couple of wombling adventures, mostly featuring Bungo, introduce you to this world of tidy litt
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Living under Wimbledon common and keeping the greens clean and tidy are a family of Wombles. For years it has been their duty to collect, clear and recycle any and all manner of things we messy humans leave behind. Form scarves and umbrellas to buses and cement trucks, the Wombles have managed to reuse and borrow all that they need. But it's not just at Wimbledon where Wombles can be found.

The Wombles introduces these much loved creatures to a new generation of young readers. With their mini ad
This was our bedtime book for October, one chapter a night for the most part but sometimes half a chapter depending on how tired everyone was.

I didn't know that the Wombles existed in book form, before they existed in television form and discovered this fact when we were in the UK recently and binging on English-language books whilst they were available. I noticed the Wombles book on the table and decided to grab it, based purely on childhood memories.

From my perspective, it appears that the tel
Tim O'neill
I don't have a specific reason why, but altho I can point out some distinctions between the different Wombles and easily find connections between the stories or even consider it a loose narrative, I never became invested in the characters or story. I see I gave three stars to the sequel (which I read first, oops), but I didn't give a review so I'm curious if I actually liked it more?
Sharon Bollen
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Under ground, over ground, Wombling free the Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we.......".
Impossible not to have the song in your head while you read this but it is a delight to re-read these books from a kinder, more innocent age.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was so lovely to discover all the wonderful Wombleful characters again. The story follows Bungo's first year as a working Womble.
The stories are written so well that even as an adult I enjoyed them all.
I particularly liked listening to Bernard Cribbins' narration. Takes me right back :)
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
A few years ago my daughter was in England. She was told that the Wombles are a story known to all British children so she brought this book back to me. Totally charming! Can't wait to listen to the CD that came with it, and would like to read more of the Wombles.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was good (and I also like this book) because the Wombles had a very good time, but one of them didn't. He went up into the sky and landed Queen's Mere and swam to shore. And they're all named after states.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'd never read these as a kid, only seen the TV show, but this was very sweet and very nostalgic!
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: personal-library
I enjoyed the stories, they were fun.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Delightful children's book with an ahead of its time message about recycling. Children and adults both can enjoy this.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Superb! Lovely stories. Great characters. Plus, an important environmental message - don't litter, reuse, recycle, etc.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I needed a nice light and easy to read book for my travels and this was ideal. What's not to love about these environmentally sensitive and innovative creatures!
James O'Donnell
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was just giving this 5 stars ironically then I thought about it and realised it's probably fully deserving of the 5 stars anyway.
Menai N
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An utter delight to reread with my daughters. I will be reading them all the rest now too. What a surprise to find reviews about how much Giles and Victoria Coren had enjoyed them too!
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Cute. Would’ve enjoyed reading this to the kids when they were younger.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-bad
Read aloud to my 10 year-old son who loved the humour. Chapter headings such as Bungo and the Cement Mixer made him chortle with anticipation.
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, 2018, classic, childrens
I have always had the tales of the Wombles around me having always lived quite close to Wimbledon Common. I have not had the luck of being able to see them personally. I found the full collection of early tales of the Wombles highly delightful and full of humour. I was utterly unable to put the book down once tales had started and found that I needed to hear to the end of each tale before I could close the book. A wonderous collection of characters that are unique in their own ways and you will ...more
Dark Matter
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nalini Haynes reviewed this book; for more reviews by Nalini, see Nalini Haynes on Dark Matter Zine.

The Wombles is a classic novel originally released in 1968, converted into a TV series in the 1970s with Bernard Cribbins as narrator. Wombles became symbols of the Tidy Britain campaign.

Before recycling became an official government interest, The Wombles entertained children with part-teddy-bear, part-rodent-type characters collecting rubbish from Wimbledon Common. An overall narrative arc links
Jules Jones
First in what became a series of over 20 books about the creatures living in a large burrow underneath Wimbledon Common, who make a living by collecting and re-using the rubbish left behind by careless humans.

I first met the Wombles in the form of the 1970s BBC stop motion animated series, which so thoroughly burnt itself into my brain that I kept flashing on scenes from the show as I was reading. Thus the otherwise delightful illustrations by Margaret Gordon were a little disconcerting, as the
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
(2.5 stars)
The Wombles is set in Wimbledon Common, London where the Wombles live in an elaborate tunnel system beneath the common.

The book is written around Bungo, a young Womble who doesn’t have much personality and whom, to be honest, I don’t think to be very likeable. His friend, if you can call him that, Orinoco is also still young and quite selfish. This behavior fortunately gets better towards the end of the book. Great Uncle Bulgaria and Tobermory, the oldest and wisest of the Wombles, do
Nov 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
The adventures of the Wombles of Wimbledon, furry creatures who live underground and practiced recycling before it became fashionable.

Appropriate for ages 8-12 ( or 6 and up as a read-aloud story)

The Wombles are small furry creatures that live in a burrow in Wimbledon Common, a park in southwest London. Armed with "tidy bags", Wombles pick up trash that humans drop and furnish their burrow with the useful items they find. When a Womble gets old enough to leave the burrow, he or she gets to choo
Katy Noyes
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic that my son really took to.

I wasn't expecting it, but my 7-year-old really enjoyed listening to this in the car. He watched the animation as a toddler but didn't remember it. I don't think I ever read the book myself, I think I only know the characters from the TV programme myself.

It's a lovely read, and stands the test of time well, it doesn't use old-fashioned language and the London and world of the time doesn't appear much changed.

Bernard Cribbins does as excellent job narrating t
Feb 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
I finally got around to reading The Wombles after a couple years of interest in these characters for reasons detailed here.

The book itself is charming, gentle, very British, and on the whole quite enjoyable. The Wombles are rodent-like creatures who live in a burrow beneath Wimbledon Common. They pick up trash that humans leave behind and use it to make useful stuff. They essentially live on a socialist commune, sharing all personal property and working for the good of the group. They're also ve
Wombles are endearing creatures who live under Wimbledon Park and clean up after messy humans and recycle what they find. Although first created 40 plus years ago, the story doesn't feel dated since they address topics (recycling, reusing, protecting the environment) which are still very current today.

Womble society is male dominated. The males lead the community and have great adventures above ground while the females are a cook, a server, and a school teacher who is only mentioned in the chara
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Elisabeth "Liza" Beresford MBE was a British author of children's books, best known for creating The Wombles. Born into a family with many literary connections, she worked as a journalist but struggled for success until she created the Wombles in the 1960s. The strong theme of recycling was particularly notable, and the Wombles became very popular with children across the world. While Beresford pr ...more

Other books in the series

The Wombles (6 books)
  • The Wandering Wombles
  • The Wombles At Work
  • The Wombles to the Rescue
  • The Wombles Go Round the World
  • The Invisible Womble, And Other Stories