I thought that The Wondrous Wonders was going to be a quirky, but fun story about a young girl and wonderful, magical creatures that she has adventures with. It is an unusual fairytale that hints at the classics, but has some fresh ideas. Yet, the girl is not sweet; in fact, she is a self-proclaimed brat. Jo (we learn her name is) is dealing with her parents divorce, fathers remarriage and step siblings. She runs away from the area they are camping in, and decides that she will live with the little elf-like creatures she meets. Even if they tell her to get lost.
Of course, things go from bad to worse when she finds out that others in this village have been kidnapped by the tyrant king and their friends want to help. But things go wrong. In the process, we have a somewhat Alice in Wonderland meets Wizard of Oz meets Narnia tale with a French accent. The people of course fight the bad guy, win and Jo realizes that “There’s no place like home.”
It goes without saying that Camille Jourdy’s book is not for everyone. It is an acquired taste. There are some interesting illustrations, however, which fall into the “you like them or not” category. Montana Kane’s rainbow ponies, and the boots the dog wears, are not overly bright, but nothing is overly dull. The action to the text and art are shown but mostly told. They are not realistic, but not abstract either. Overall, it is a know your reader/listener for the right fit. While this is currently out, I read it via an online reader copy, and I plan on finding a finished copy as that might help me see things in a different light.