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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 10 August 2012
Discovering this manuscript by the late Eva Ibbotson was a gem of a find. Certainly the contents are matched by her known story-telling. Lady Agatha Farrrington is on a rare plant finding exercise with her father below the Nanvi Dar mountain in Tibet. She is abducted by a Yeti. Strong but gentle, he takes her to a Utopian environment that she immediately feels is her destiny, and mothers and educates the willing young and old Yetis in the ways of the Western World yet bowing to their knowledge and longevity. Their origins are not outlined but are obviously inordinately long. The book takes the Yetis on tortuous journeys to England, for their protection, via adventurous routes, with sympathisers abundant, especially two children and a lorry driver. Back in Farley Towers (Lady Agatha's home) they encounter a trophy hunting pompous brigade. Protected by friends, allies (and the odd touch of royalty), the outcome is within the 'Goodies v Baddies' understanding of children.

This is a wonderful story. There is atmosphere, hints of tension but a feeling that the predicament of all parties may well end up satisfactorily, as any childrens' story should. There are many elements here that make this a fabulous novel. These are my adult views. My 8 and a half year old grandaughter,(the half is important she tells me) thought it was 'cool' and exciting without any too scary moments but enough to make her read it right through.'Smashing and kind' was her conclusion and I concur wholeheartedly. Finally, appropriately and well-illustrated by Sharon Renitta.
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on 20 July 2012
Like many other readers, my 9 year old son and I were DELIGHTED to learn that one last manuscript had been found in the late Eva Ibbotson's papers. As always, this book is a sheer delight. She manages (managed) to be exciting, funny, and moving, and all with an abundance of good heart. Her books have a strong moral message but are never 'preachy'. My son (who bought it instantly with his own money) devoured it straightaway, and passed it on to me for an equally enthusiastic read. Anyone out there who hasn't tried her, do! She is an amazing writer and we are more than sad that this really will be the last book by her. (Incidentally, her older children's books, e.g. "Star of Kazan", are also brilliant, and so are our adult novels.)
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Bought this after reading One Dog and His Boy, by the same author, to my 8 year old son who loved it. One Dog and His Boy This is another absolutely superb and very original story, which we are taking in turns to read to one another at bedtime.

A yeti kidnaps a young English lady, to bring up his children. She is surprised to discover that Abominable Snowmen are anything but, so she raises them, teaching them English, manners and decorum, and then, as she ages, tries to plan for their safe future in the ever changing outside world. The yetis embark upon an epic adventure into the unknown, helped by two children.

A really lovely book, which has kept my son and me captivated for 2 weeks (at a chapter a night). It is appropriate for any child aged 7 or so plus, to read themselves, or to be read to. Wonderful!
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on 29 December 2014
The Abominables is such a sweet story which actually is quite fairy-tale esque. Perfect recipe for me!

The Abominables are Yetis who have been undiscovered in the Himalayas for centuries. Lord Farlingham takes his daughter Agatha on an expedition. The story begins with Agatha being kidnapped from her tent. Agatha is scared to begin with, but she soon realises that she has nothing to fear. She decides to stay and care for the Abominable Snowmen that have taken her! The creatures in this story aren’t scary at all. They’re incredibly endearing and its easy to see why Agatha made the decision she did to care for them. The story goes on to explore how our human world treats animals. It’s interesting to read between the lines and recognise the message The Abominables brings with it.

The story isn’t perfect, but it’s sweet and fairy-tale esque. I’m glad that I read it!
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on 27 December 2013
This is a beautiful story, following a cleverly designed arc taking us on, what turns out to be, quite a traditional fairy tale journey there and back again. Immediately two of the great Thou Shall Nots of fiction for children are totally ignored and we don't mind at all. Firstly, this is very much tell not show, second, we've got talking mystical creatures, both definite no-no's if you read advice about writing for children. But Ibbotsen is a master and this rule-breaking works very well when you're as good as she is.

The Abominables of the title are Yetis, undiscovered in the Himalayas for centuries. A British adventurer, Lord Farlingham, rather worryingly takes his young daughter Agatha, on an expedition to Tibet towards the end of the 19th century. In the opening chapter she's kidnapped from her tent and whilst the abominable snowmen that have taken her do not force her to stay, she elects to stay and care for them. She is wonderfully English and eccentric, teaching them manners and to say grace. The Yetis are gentle creatures, green to the core, apologising to any food they end up eating. Perfect read out loud material for parents, after decades of living happily ever after Agatha dies and the Yetis have to be moved from their idyllic home-land because humans are encroaching on their land. Two brave children hatch a plot to move the Abominables across Europe to the Farlingham family Mansion back in good old blighty.

On the way the Yetis see the horror of the human world, particularly how we treat other animals and they do a fair bit of rescuing, saving animals from an evil Sultan, rescuing a majestic bull from a bull-ring as well as restoring the reputation of a pack of down-at-heel St Bernard dogs. The story resonates with warmth, humour and fun, but like all good fairy stories there's a deeper, darker message. In a beautiful, but never over-stated volte face it's clear by the end of the tale that it is the humans who are the Abominables, the Yetis, along with the

Wonderful illustrations by Sharon Rentta
hero children, avatars of our better selves.

I really wish I'd discovered this before my children were too old to read it to, gorgeous fun story with a great moral sting in its tale.

**** Four stars
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on 10 August 2012
This story aimed at little people tells of a very proper English lady who goes to live with a family of Yetis high in the Himalayas. These apparently fierce animals turn out to have all the real human virtues, kindness, a love of nature and the environment added to which are the very proper English virtues involving handkerchiefs, teacups, grooming and manners. When the explotation of Everest threatens the Yetis home the now elderly lady decides to send them to her estate in England for their protection. After an interesting trek the abominables arrive at their new home only to find it has been rented to a club trophy hunters. They are shipped off to the Antarctic where the hunters intend to stalk and kill them. Thanks to the good work of the children of England. They are saved.
It is a wonderful tale with just the right amount of instruction about environmental issues and lessons about making assumptions about the animals you might meet.
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on 21 January 2013
The Abominables is such a wonderful book to read. It starts when Agatha Farlingham is taken in the middle of the night by Father Yeti who needs help raising his children. Despite her initial fear Agatha soon realised that Yeti's are gentle creatures and strict vegetarians.

Deciding to stay Agatha teaches the Yeti's how to talk, read and most importantly manners. As time passes further family members join and all is quite well until they are found by a young boy. As per Lady Agatha's request he is to join them and the Yeti's set of to travel to England.

I really liked how interesting and different the Yeti's were. I absolutely adored Ambrose pet, Hubert the Yak. Hubert was pretty much my favourite thing in this story, he's just so cute.

The Abominables was in many ways the perfect book, there were was the odd moment I didn't like as much, inserting reality in a tale for fantastical didn't always work for me but the writing, the Yeti's and the feeling of hope really stuck with me long after I finished the last page.
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on 10 March 2013
Read reviews online and bought my avid reader. Was looking for a new author to us, and this fits the bill. Great change from Jacqueline Wilson. My daughter can' t put it down and would like to read more from this author.
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on 6 June 2014
I bought this as my two children aged 10 (girl) and 8 (boy) were growing out of bedtime stories (Harry Potter, not picture books). I read it out loud to them, and they were absolutely gripped. There were many cries of "just another chapter" and I wholeheartedly enjoyed reading it. Like many great books, it's a bit of a rollercoaster emotionally - sad, tense, funny - but the reader is left with a warm feeling at the end. Highly recommended.
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on 11 May 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a super book ideal for children around the ages of 7-8. It's made all the more precious by being something of a posthumous parting gift from the manuscripts of the late author. The story is a warm one of displacement and culture shock, and there's riotous fun along the way. Recommended.
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