Wild Reading 06/07/20
Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books
A hundred years ago in the Himalayan mountains, the daughter of an English explorer is abducted from her mountainside tent by a huge hairy monster - none other than the infamous Yeti. Luckily the intrepid Lady Agatha takes her kidnapping in her stride, and soon discovers that although he is huge and hairy, the Yeti is not so terrifying after all - he's simply a concerned father who needs help raising his loveable and eccentric family of not-so abominable snowmen.
In a peaceful hidden valley, Lady Agatha sets about a happy new life bringing up the Yeti children, teaching them to speak and insisting on perfect manners. But as time moves on, the valley is threatened by the arrival of helicopters, tourists and property developers, and Agatha, now an old lady, begins to worry about the safety of her naive and innocent charges, who she fears will be captured by the Yeti-hunters.
Luckily two courageous children, brother and sister Con and Ellen, turn up in the nick of time to help her. Together with an ingenious lorry driver they form a plan to help the Yetis escape to the safety of Agatha's ancestral home in England, Farley Towers. On the entertaining road trip which ensues, the Yetis (and their faithful pet Yak) find themselves mixed up in all kinds of unlikely adventures, their impeccable courtesy and kindness leading them to get involved in everything from liberating animals from the zoo to rescuing a lost child in an Alpine blizzard. But what will await them on their eventual arrival in England?
The incomplete manuscript of this charming story was found amongst Eva Ibbotson's papers at her death in 2010. Although it has been finished by her son, this has all the familiar ingredients of a trademark Ibbotson tale: it is warm-hearted, funny and full of magical imagination. But as well as humour, there is also a powerful message here about the importance of nature and the environment, protecting endangered species, and opposing cruelty and injustice. Illustrated by Sharon Rentta, who also provided the illustrations for Ibbotson's One Dog and His Boy, this touching and engaging story is irresistible. A classic in the making.