For Elspeth Pule, life is dull and lonely in the real world, where she misses her good friends, Humpty Dumpty, Bo Peep, and Rodney, a giant talking wheel of cheese.
So when she gets a surprise visit and a desperate plea for help from Georgie Porgie and Gene the blabbermouth stick, Elspeth agrees immediately. After holding her breath until she is blue in the face, Elspeth opens her eyes and finds herself back in a land where storybook characters are real.
Here she learns that a horrible witch named Mary Mary Quite Contrary has kidnapped King William the Umpteenth’s wife and taken her into a dark forest. To free her, Elspeth and her ragtag crew will have to pay the witch’s ransom . . . or else. Can Elspeth use her bravery, smarts, and just a little bit of ill temper to thwart the evil witch and rescue her friend?
I received a NetGalley copy in exchange for an honest review.
While I liked the concept of this book, I found that I had difficulty becoming invested in the story.
I enjoyed the nursery rhyme twist, but I found myself growing tired of the characters a few chapters in.
I also wasn’t fond of the writing style. There were phrases that were intended to be jokes that I felt were unnecessary.
I thought the end of the book was a bit more drawn out than it needed to be and that the last few chapters could have been resolved more quickly.
I did, however, like the concept; it was very clever. Wee Willie Winkie was the king; and Little Bo Peep the military adviser. Our world is called the Deadlands, because, unlike New Winkieland, sticks and trees and such are not sentient. I like the twists on the nursery rhymes, and how before each chapter classic rhymes were edited to reflect the story. It was really the writing style that kept me from becoming as invested as I could have been.
Frankly, I think the reason that I wasn’t completely into this book was because of the reading level that it was intended for. I found my interest waxing and waning the entire time, but a younger Middle Grade reader would likely love this series. The content is perfectly clean, and the adults are kind people who are portrayed in a positive light, which is something that is all too uncommon. If you prefer older MG and YA novels, this probably isn’t for you. But if you are looking for a unique book with clean content to give to a young reader, this is certainly a good choice.