'Wed Wabbit. Don't laugh, he's dangerous.'
With that tagline on the cover, I found myself hesitant to pick this book up. Don't ask me why – there was no logic (as far as I could tell). It was only when Margaret suggested I read this ("I've put Wed Wabbit near your bag", aka me picturing the book slowly creeping towards my belongings, before jumping into my bag with an evil laugh), that I thought I should give it a go.
All that I had managed to discover about the book before I started was that it was 'The Secret Garden with a mad – possibly killer – toy rabbit', and so (with slight trepidation), I began reading.
The story follows 11 year old Fidge, who ends up temporarily moving in with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, after her little sister is involved in a car accident. In a strange turn of events, she ends up in a fictional land, accompanied by her irritating cousin, some unbelievable remnants from reality, and three thousand Wimbley Woos. Oh, and the solution to their way home is obscured behind a set of seemingly impossible clues. No biggie, right?
For the first third of the book, I was slightly in shock. My brain was wondering what on earth I was reading (not in a bad way, just in a slightly frazzled and what-is-going-on kind of way), as the seemingly innocent (and slightly sad) beginning of the book gave way to Fidge's journey down the alternate rabbit hole (side note – I love Fidge. Wonderful, brave, flawed Fidge).
As the story develops, the characters blossom wonderfully. I loved Fidge and her cousin Graham's relationship with each other, the Wimbley Woos are like weird teletubby/dustbin hybrids (that I am so relieved don't actually exist), and Dr Carrot and Ella Elephant are possibly some of my favourite characters ever created. The cryptic clues and imaginative solutions made this a delight to read, and I am so glad this book was suggested to me.
In trying to sum up my thoughts on the book, I had noted down 'kind of like Alice in Wonderland, The Secret Garden, and The Castle of Inside Out all blended together, then viewed upside down and through a kaleidoscope' – and honestly, I don't think I could describe this wonderful, hilarious, bizarre book any better.