Book Review: The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards

Two readers wrote in to recommend The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards.

A Daughter’s Review

I loooooved this book! I was sooo fun and full of magic. I just got this feeling of happiness, anxiety and fear while reading this book. Sometimes I got so caught up in the story I couldn’t turn the page I was so scared of what would happen next like maybe one of the creatures would hop out of the book. I’m not a big fantasy reader, but this book had a way of mixing some of my least favorite genres (mystery, scary/adventure) and making a whole new one that I very much enjoyed.

I really liked how the author described everything in such detail that I felt like I had been to Whangdoodle Land after reading this book. I also loved the creatures concepts and inventions in the book – they were so creative. For example – the Whangdoodle’s boat and soda machine really tickled me. The boat is called the Jolly Boat, and to start it you have to tell jokes so it laughs, which makes it go. Then on the lower deck there is a special soda machine that you ask for any kind of food with anything on it and it makes it for you on the spot. —  Franny S., Portland, Oregon

A Mother’s Review

I’d like to recommend a book for the 2nd-3rd grade level, though it’s good up to 5th or 6th grade. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards. Yes, the author is the same of Sound of Music fame. This is one of two novels she has written (Mandy, about an orphan girl, is also an excellent choice for this age.  It is reminiscent of The Secret Garden). Whangdoodles is the adventure of three children (a girl, age 7 or 8, and 2 boys, ages 11 and 13) and a professor specializing in DNA/cloning research. Using their senses and child-like belief in the unbelievable, they travel to a land which has forever been closed to human kind.

Whangdoodleland is the place where all creatures in whom people have stopped believing have gone to live. It is ruled by the Whangdoodle who is, sadly, the last of his kind. This book is reminiscent of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. It is a lovely adventure with many morals, and absolutely no objectionable words for the 6-8 year old set. (Note from reviewer: 2008 is an anniversary year for the book and it has been republished with a special anniversary edition cover.) — Sarah T., Castro Valley, California

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