Two weeks ago, I thought it was time for another children’s book and so I chose to read The Wombles by Elisabeth Beresford. Unlike some of you, I don’t have any connection to the book and I never saw the TV series. So this was totally new to me.
The Wombles is the first ever Wombles book and introduces the stern but kindly Great Uncle Bulgaria; Orinoco, who is particularly fond of his food and a subsequent forty winks; general handyman extraordinaire Tobermory, who can turn almost anything that the Wombles retrieve from Wimbledon Common into something useful; Madame Cholet, who cooks the most delicious and natural foods to keep the Wombles happy and contented; and last but not least, Bungo, one of the youngest and cheekiest Wombles of all, who has much to learn and is due to venture out on to the Common on his own for the very first time . . .
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, don’t make a very good introduction either. They behave judgmental and downright rude when interacting with the younger Wombles. The only one who seems to be an okay fellow but doesn’t matter much is Tomsk.
Even if you don’t know The Wombles, the first half of the book can be rather boring because it mainly introduces the (predominantly male) characters and, like I’ve said before, I don’t find them very likeable. The second half becomes more interesting as the story evolves. I really like the idea of the Wombles recycling the trash the humans throw away. This is an important message for everyone reading the book. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to keep me glued to the pages. The Wombles is much too serious for my taste and I really miss some wit. I understand that many love The Wombles because they’ve grown up with them, but I just don’t find them very charming.
Today we’re having a look at a classic for children and those who are young at heart: Michael Bond‘s Paddington Helps Out. It is the second book in a series of 13, so you will most definitely see more of Paddington.
“Oh dear,” said Paddington, as everyone turned to look at him accusingly. “I’m in trouble again.” Somehow trouble comes naturally to Paddington.
What other bear could upset the whole cinema by standing on his seat to boo the ‘bad guy’ in the cowboy film? Or drip ice-cream on the people down below? Or flood the launderette and saw Mr Curry’s kitchen into little pieces? Only Paddington! But when Paddington’s head is so full of ideas, some things are bound to go wrong!
Like A Bear Called Paddington, the first instalment in the Paddington series, Paddington Helps Out is set in London, UK. Again, Michael Bond takes us to familiar places like the Browns’ home, the market, or Mr Gruber’s fascinating shop. We are, however, also introduced to new locations like a fancy restaurant, or the launderette and, as always, we see them like Paddington, as utterly exciting and strange.
By now you should all be familiar with our main character Paddington. The young, charming and naive bear from the darkest Peru always means well and has a big heart. It is just wonderful to see the world through his eyes.
Like all the books in the series, Paddington Helps Out is divided into short stories that are connected to each other. The stories in this book are about Paddington trying to help out, but it wouldn’t be him if things would go as planned. Paddington Helps Out is a fun and entertaining read that teaches us that even a bad situation can turn into something good in the end.
One day, the Brown family find a bear from Darkest Peru at Paddington Station in London. They decide to take him in and name him Paddington. That is when Paddington’s new life and his adventures start. He soon becomes part of the family. The children Jonathan and Judy enjoy Paddington’s company and Mrs. Bird, the housekeeper, quickly warms up to him. Paddington makes friends all over the place, his best friend being Mr. Gruber. The only person who can’t stand Paddington is the Browns’ neighbor Mr. Curry…
A Bear Called Paddington is set in and around the Browns’ house in London. The setting is very believable and nice and so are the characters. The stories are told by a third person narrator and usually revolve around Paddington, so the reader has a character to connect with.
The book is divided into short stories that are connected to each other and should be read in a consecutive order. In each story, Paddington usually learns something from his or others’ behaviour. So each story has its moral.
I really like A Bear Called Paddington because it is entertaining, easy to read and I think Paddington is simply cute. Also, I learned to read the time with Paddington when I was very young. This is a book I would recommend for both, children and adults 🙂