Friday, July 22, 2011

The Wikkelinng by Steven Arntson

Illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini, c 2011.
Cataloged in Juvenile Fiction at the Hibbing Public Library, this book drew my attention because it is slightly wider than the average hardcover and it had no jacket.  The cover art is printed right on the fabric cover.  What is this book? 
A strange tale of three children who attend the same school, all get terrible headache and can sometimes see, or at least feel, a strange presence near them.  They live in a huge metropolis where the Old City and the Addition is divided by a large highway that keeps growing wider.  But Henrietta finds a wild house cat in the attic of her family's old house where she and her new friends can see how the town looked long ago, when people walked rather than driving in cars with computers telling them every turn to make and every thought to think.  Car horns don't honk, they blare advertisements.  These children meet because they are different than others.  They learn that there is much to be valued, including books: handwritten or printed on paper, like the mysterious Bestiary (sample pages included) that describes animals they've never seen or even learned about in their school where "Sensible Students Succeed Splendidly" and safety is all important.
A great adventure ensues as Henrietta and her new friends Gary and Rose gather information about what the Wikkeling is and why it follows them.

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