Most Helpful First | Newest First
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making good use of the things everyday folks leave behind,
A scruffy, shaggy, slightly overweight, furry creature is riding around part of South London, barely in control of his bicycle. No, not the political memoirs of the incumbent Mayor of London. Better. Far better. It's Orinoco Womble and the gang are back!
Well, I say `back'. This is the original series - and this is the very first book. First published in 1968, Elisabeth Beresford's recycling Wombles could have been written yesterday and are right "on message" for current times, featuring loveable characters whose mischievous adventures make great bed time reading (and kids will enjoy them too!). At last, some sensible person at Bloomsbury has located the originals in Tobermory's workshop and seen fit to do with them what Wombles do best. Recycle them and put them to good use in this newly released series.
Elisabeth Beresford's wonderful creations were staggeringly ahead of their time in many ways. No one really spoke much about recycling back then - but she did. Then of course the great marketing bandwagon went into full swing - again to an extent that is now commonplace but then was little used. There was the wonderfully voiced TV series with Bernard Cribbins, albums with Mike Batt's music (who was the Simon Cowell of the 1970s) and merchandising galore. I know. I had most of it. But none of this would have been possible without the raw material of Elisabeth Beresford's exquisitely charming characters, residing underground on Wimbledon Common, collecting the rubbish "everyday folks" left behind.
There are some surprises. In this first book, Wellington Womble has yet to make an appearance. Long time fans will recall that the Womble who should have gone to Specsavers was one of the gang of four younger Wombles (along with Tomsk, Orinoco and Bungo) In this early book the quartet was completed by a pretty, young female Womble, named Alderney who pushes the tea trolley around the burrow. Poor Alderney - she must feel like the Pete Best of the Wombles. But the biggest surprise was quite how uncannily ahead of her time Beresford really was. Yes, sure the whole recycling thing was brilliantly accurate and poor old Orinoco's problems with obesity are obvious to anyone with a memory of the books or the TV show. But when Great Uncle Bulgaria goes to watch the tennis at Wimbledon with cousin Yellowstone who is visiting from America, the Wombles lament that the game is not what it was because it's all about the serving these days. Once again, can I remind you, this is 1968!
The only slight issue you could possibly have with the books is that there is a degree of gender stereotyping with the divine Madame Cholet consigned to the kitchen and Alderney to serving food to the male workers, but I think we can forgive a slight lack of Womble Women's Lib.
The books are beautifully but sparingly illustrated with Nick Price's line drawings. This first one is split into thirteen chapters all of which are just perfect bedtime reading length. They are also perfect for slightly older children to read alone, but my advice would be to get them for younger children so that you can enjoy them too. Incidentally, a good part of the first book concerns Christmas, so they'd make terrific Christmas presents. They are certainly going on my list to Santa!
With recycling issues now understood by everyone, the time should be right for a full scale Womble revival. These guys should "clean up" again, as it were. No kid should grow up without having the Wombles in their lives.
To paraphrase the only person older than Great Uncle Bulgaria; "keeeeep Wombling". Me? I'm off for forty winks.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous book,
My four year old neice was absolutely delighted with this gorgeous book for Christmas - she has plenty of stories for bedtime and the added bonus of the CD of a selection read by Bernard Cribbins is lovely.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underground, overground, Wombling free!,
This review is from: The Wombles (Kindle Edition)
This book took me right back!
... way, way back to the days of watching The Wombles on the TV and first reading the book.
... back a little less further to student days at Whitelands College (now part of Roehampton University ... sort of ...) when we ran Womble hunts round Wimbledon Common
... back about 15 years, when our school's reward stickers had The Wombles on them, so reward time began with The Song
And it was still as memorable as ever!!!
A children's classic that can and should be revived!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wombles,
Very good book with plenty of stories,illustrations really clear.The author really put her heart into these timely classics.A storybook that will last forever.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still A Great Read,
When I was a wee lad I used to watch the Wombles on the tv, and get the books out of the library. Indeed I can quite distinctly remember wanting to live in a burrow. I was surprised and very pleased when I found out the other day that they were being re-issued, this one and The Wandering Wombles this year, and the other four titles next year.
This book I must admit must have made a distinct impression on me because as I was reading it I could remember large parts of it. This was the first book in the series published, way back in 1968 and some of the characters you may not be so familiar with if you only ever saw the tv series, such as the young female Womble, Alderney.
With plans afoot for Midsummer, the Wombles still have to get through the winter, and Christmas. With the burrow in desperate need of repair, and other exploits and adventures there is more than enough to keep a child enthralled, indeed if you remember and grew up with the Wombles like I did there is more than enough to keep an adult reading. With recycling such a big issue these days this book could help foster the habit into your children, as well as teach them about things such as sharing and friendship.
There are some great illustrations here by Nick Price, but they are rather sparse. Even so children will love this tale, and if they are too young to be able to read it properly, then it is something that can easily be read to them. It is great to see that after all this time it hasn't lost any of its original sparkle and magic.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good,
Great for children
I use it for English language teaching to foreign students and is very useful to me and to them
5.0 out of 5 stars great,
All these books are great for bedtime reading to our little ones. Each book has a long story with each chapter being a self contained story which is just long enough (or short enough) for reading at bedtime. The chapters are easy to read allowed and have held our twins captivated. Plus you get to re-live all the adventures of our childhood favourite characters.
If any more are published in the series we will buy.
5.0 out of 5 stars Got my niece interested in reading again,
My niece started learning to read at an early age, and by the age of five had a reading age of eight or more. Inevitably, the problem arose that the subject matter in many books aimed at eight year olds isn't suitable for younger children, and books for younger children aren't very interesting for advanced younger readers.
Thankfully, The Wombles proved to be the solution. With interesting stories, strong plots and believable and fascinating characters, but without any content unsuitable for a five year old, The Wombles captured her imagination and reawakened her interest in reading. Having read the book myself I can see why.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book,
Bought this for my 7 year old nephew, he absolutely loves the book & chuckles out loud at some bits,
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful book,
I watched the wombles when I grew up now I can read the fabulous stories to my daughter. Great book
Most Helpful First | Newest First