Every summer, I pick a few books to read to my children who are currently seven and ten. We've read some wonderful things together and I believe it helps foster a love of reading. I am always happy when we can all get involved in a book together. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards was the first of our summer reading this year. Sadly, it has taken us over a month to get through it. Perhaps there is something I am missing because this book has an average rating of 4.25 on Goodreads, but we didn't like it at all.
I knew from the very first chapter that I wasn't going to be a fan when the children in the book meet a strange man at the zoo, then end up at his house on Halloween when they are trick-or-treating alone and go into his house. Then I was even more unhappy when he promises to take them on a fantastic adventure, but they cannot tell their parents anything about it! I understand that this is fiction and was written even before I was born and so it was a different time, but I have a hard time as a mother being sure that my own children can make the distinction. I had to stop reading several times to remind them that it is a book and they are never to do what the children in this story were doing. For me, that really takes something away from the experience.
Also frustrating for us was that the storytelling style just seemed far too slow. There was a lot of detail given, but it felt as if the narration went on and on with very little accomplished. To be honest, we all felt that it was just terrible. I am truly sorry to Mrs. Edwards. We love Julie Andrews, but her book didn't work for us.