Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Uncle Terrible

Uncle Terrible is a friend of the family. He teaches high school Latin, collects comic books and movie memorabilia, and is called Uncle Terrible because he’s so terribly nice. Anatole goes to visit Uncle Terrible in his New York apartment, little suspecting that he will soon be shrinking to the size of a cockroach, meeting Mother Nature, traveling with a skeletal mule, and playing a life-and-death game of checkers with an evil wizard to save his friends.

Uncle Terrible is an incredibly imaginative story; it is reminiscent of the best of George MacDonald, E. Nesbit, and Lewis Carroll. It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a children’s fantasy book like I have Uncle Terrible, and I recommend it highly as a quick read for children and adults.

5/5 stars

Comments

Anonymous said…
Your description reminded me of Dahl's books too. sometimes it's nice to curl up with a whimsical book and I also enjoy MacDonald from time to time.

Thanks for your review
(coming over from Semicolon's Sat. Review of books)
Rick said…
Thanks for visiting. I didn't mention Dahl in my review, but it *does* remind me a lot of his books as well. I don't know why this one is not more well known than it is.
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Elena Burton said…
I'm a little late to the conversation, but I'd like to say that the other two books in the Anatole series are just as good. In fact, I like both of them a little better than Uncle Terrible and I like Uncle Terrible quite a lot! These books are out of print now (for no good reason that I can tell!) so snap them up if you find then. Dayan
Rick said…
Thanks, Elena. I'll definitely keep an eye out.