Whimsy & Woe
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Whimsy & Woe

Rebecca McRitchie, Sonia Kretschmar

After being abandoned by their thespian parents one afternoon while playing their weekly family game of hide-and-seek, Whimsy and Woe Mordaunt are left in the care of their austere Aunt Apoline.

Forced to work in her boarding house, looking after the guests, sharpening the thorns of every plant in the poisonous plant garden and listening to off-key renditions of ‘Fish Are Friends Too’ - an aria made famous by the legendary Magnus Montgomery - Whimsy and Woe lose all hope that their parents will someday return. Until one day, quite by accident, the siblings stumble upon a half-charred letter that sets them on a course to freedom and finding their parents.

Dark, funny, darkly funny and funnily dark, Whimsy & Woe takes readers on an adventure with two intrepid siblings in a tale of mischief, monocles, mice and mist. Ages: 9 years+


Reading this book, I felt like a child immersed in a good old-fashioned stage melodrama, barracking for the dauntless Whimsy and Woe and heckling the fiendish villains; through the magic of this story I relived the rapture of childhood.

Whimsy and Woe has it all: incredibly courageous children (hooray!), an evil calculating aunt, the ignominious Ignatius Solt (boo!) and a despicable one-legged pirate (hiss!), captivity and misery in a boarding house populated by an outlandish clientele (gasp!) and a heroic escape from a treacherous storm, imprisonment in a swamp and a wolf with razor-sharp teeth … all told with vivid thespian style and flair. Fiercely determined to rescue their kidnapped parents, the heroic sister-and-brother team of Whimsy and Woe refuse to wallow in self-pity, harnessing their wits to perfect the art of the bluff and decision-making on the run, while narrowly escaping the clutches of their persecutors.

If A Series of Unfortunate Events and Withering by Sea produced a love child – this would be it! This very handsomely illustrated hardback book is the first of two books and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the sequel! It’s perfect for independent readers nine years and up who love mystery adventures and an ideal read-aloud story for the whole family.

Athina Clarke is the children’s book buyer at Readings Malvern.

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