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The Wombles Paperback – 1 Nov 2010
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`Now a new generation can enjoy the books'
`There's something wonderfully old-fashioned and charming about the "short, fat, furry" creatures. They are simple without being simplistic, innocent without being naïve, civic minded for its own sake'
`The rubbish collecting eco message has a new resonance'
--Angels and Urchins
`More than 40 years since the Wombles first hit Wimbledon Common, the six original titles by Elizabeth Beresford are back in print, with an environmental message that has never been more relevant. Perfect for 8-to 10-year-olds'
`A genuine classic returns . . . A new generation will delight in the adorable Wombles of Wimbledon Common and, with their passion for recycling, they couldn't be better role models. Nostalgic adults will also love getting re-acquainted with the furry crew'
`This charming series is as relevant for young readers today as it was in the 1960's'
`Those of us of a certain age will be delighted to see the return of those famous residents of Wimbledon Common. Orinoco, Uncle Bulgaria and the rest are a charming and entertaining bunch, plus, with their litter-picking way, they can teach us all a thing or two about recycling'
'No kid should grow up without having the Wombles in their lives' --The Bookbag, June 2011
`The Wombles are back! A new generation of readers can delight in them, discovering their ethos and sharing in their most excellent and innocent of adventures. This is a masterstroke - I love them!' --Books Monthly
`Endearing adventures involving gathering and sorting rubbish, braving meetings with humans and dogs and, in the nicest possible way, making sure the world is a better place'
--Julia Eccleshare Love Reading 4 Kids
About the Author
Elisabeth Beresford first came up with the idea for the Womble characters when walking on Wimbledon Common with her two children. She started sketching out the characters that day: Great Uncle Bulgaria was based on her father-in-law, Tobermory on her brother (an inventor), Orinoco on her son, and Madame Cholet on her mother. She hoped that the Wombles stories would encourage children to fight pollution and to think up ways of 'making good use of bad rubbish'. In fact, the Wombles so charmed the nation that they were chosen as the mascots for the Tidy Britain campaign. Since then they have had their own television series, first broadcast on Jackanory. Elisabeth Beresford was awarded an MBE for her services to children's literature in 1998.
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The Wombles are like a furry hippie commune. They are vegetarian, never lie, share all their possessions with each other, and aim for total self-sufficiency by living off the rubbish they collect and recycle and the natural foods they find (nettles, mushrooms etc.) from their home: London's Wimbledon Common. Very 1960s. They choose their names from an atlas of the world, and this first book involves the adventures of three of the Wombles who have just reached adulthood and started working: boisterous Bungo, greedy and sleepy Orinoco, and athletic but not too bright Tomsk. We're introduced to about nine months of their life as they are chased by dogs, blown up into the sky by large umbrellas, save the Womble burrow from landslides, and survive a harsh winter of snow and food shortages, but still find time to learn golf and skiing, and have splendid parties at Christmas and Midsummer Eve. They are frequently astonished by Human Beings, and Ms Beresford makes some very amusing observations about our own species via their comments.
Great Uncle Bulgaria, the oldest Womble is in charge; Tobermory runs the workshop and the litter patrols, and Madame Cholet runs the kitchens. The gender roles do have a little fluidity over the course of the books. In this first one, Orinoco has a trial week in the kitchens (which he fails), so there could have been a male chef in the making, and the young female Womble Alderney is there to train as a skilled cook. In later books, we are introduced to Miss Adelaide, who runs the Wombles school and is in charge of academia in general, and Shansi, a young female Womble who joins the litter patrol and then becomes the burrow's resident artist.
Once my son had grasped that Wombles don't actually exist ("Uhhhh!"), he became very involved in the story, because though it is a fantasy, it is a very down-to-earth and solid fantasy, with lots of practical-minded characters who make things and fix things and get problems solved. Tobermory even manages to build a full-size clockwork car from bits found lying around. There isn't a better book in children's literature that promotes the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" messages of today.
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.
Should be made compulsory reading for kids, if only to instil the benefits of recycling. However, since they used rubbish to furnish their burrow it is essentially the same as landfill. We've been duped! People need to question supposedly green policies. I've wombled lots of old electronics and computer stuff in my flat, but does my girlfriend appreciate this? No, she says it all has to go before we start living together.
Despite all this, the Wombles are still great reading for kids of all ages.
This first Womble book, follows Bungo, the youngest working Womble as he starts to play is role in the warren. Through the seasons he learns about trust, friendship and the ups and downs of Womble life.
Each chapter of the book stands alone but also builds together to form a story of Womble life, making it the perfect bed time story.
The themes in this book do not get old or feel dated. Great for children to read on their own or be read to.
... 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!
If any more are published in the series we will buy.
This book is fun, light reading, with a little about recycling in the back ground, If I had had this book as a child I am sure I would have read more.
Lets keep Wombling free!
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