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The Abominables

The Abominables

5.0 1
by Eva Ibbotson, Fiona Robinson (Illustrator), Eva Ibbotson Eva Ibbotson Estates Ltd

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Renowned literary great Eva Ibbotson delivers a final novel in her classic, much-loved style. A previously unpublished work from this favorite author, The Abominables follows a family of yetis who are forced, by tourism, to leave their home in the Himalayas and make their way across Europe to a possible new home. Siblings Con and Ellen shepherd the yetis


Renowned literary great Eva Ibbotson delivers a final novel in her classic, much-loved style. A previously unpublished work from this favorite author, The Abominables follows a family of yetis who are forced, by tourism, to leave their home in the Himalayas and make their way across Europe to a possible new home. Siblings Con and Ellen shepherd the yetis along their eventful journey, with the help of Perry, a good-natured truck driver. Through a mountain rescue in the Alps and a bullfight in Spain, the yetis at last find their way to an ancestral estate in England—only to come upon a club of voracious hunters who have set their sights on the most exotic prey of all: the Abominable Snowmen.
Briskly funny and full of incident, The Abominables is vintage Ibbotson. With unforgettable characters and thoughtful messages about the environment and animal cruelty, it’s a generous last gift to her many devoted fans.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 08/19/2013
What could be more adventurous than a cross-continental trip? How about traveling with a group of excitable yetis? For years, Lady Agatha has nurtured her yeti friends in a secret Himalayan valley, but now that the area has become jammed with tourists, she enlists siblings Con and Ellen Bellamy to transport the creatures to safer ground on her lavish London estate. With help from a friendly lorry driver, the children journey from Tibet to England and see some disturbing sights, including an ill-kept zoo, a bullfight, and a display of animal-head trophies desecrating Lady Agatha’s ancestral home. Ibbotson’s (One Dog and His Boy) final novel—completed posthumously by her son Toby and editor Marion Lloyd—delivers the same wisdom and satiric wit her fans love and expect; Robinson’s witty, personality-laden cartoons (not all seen by PW) add to the fun. There’s comfort to be found in familiar archetypes, including misunderstood supernatural creatures and the big-hearted children who strive to help them, and the message regarding the cyclical nature of life. A memorable finale to a treasured body of work. Ages 8–12. Agent: Tina Wexler, ICM. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Readers of all ages will fall in love with the gentle yeti family that is at the center of this final tale from celebrated author Eva Ibbotson. When a sleepwalking yeti named Lucy leaves footprints during a nighttime sojourn, the owners of the Hotel Himalaya launch a marketing frenzy that brings a deluge of visitors to the mountains and places them all at risk. Con, a page at the hotel, is initially thrilled by the excitement, but he becomes alarmed by the remarks of tourists set not upon spotting and photographing but rather hunting and killing the exotic creatures. It is fortunate, then, that it is Con who finds the tunnel that connects the mountain with the yeti’s valley. Astonished by the unique creatures--in addition to Lucy and her siblings Ambrose and Clarence, there is Father, Grandma, and Uncle Otto--Con feels more determined than ever to save them. With his sister Ellen and a truck driver named Perry, Con undertakes the road trip of all road trips, cross-country from the Himalayas to Britain by way of a mountain rescue, a zoo-break, and bullfighting in Spain. Yet even in Britain they are not safe, as the yetis fall into the hands of big-game hunters! The various characters shine in this exciting adventure tale. Ibbotson’s feelings about conservation and nature are evident but not overwhelming in this instant classic. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green AGERANGE: Ages 8 to 13.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Lady Agatha Farlingham, an aristocratic girl, is kidnapped by a Himalayan yeti and taken to Nanvi Dar. As it turns out, the yeti and his ilk aren't the least bit abominable; they are kind and gentle. Agatha spends a long and happy life in Nanvi Dar, teaching her yetis English, proper manners, and values. When the now-elderly woman decides that her family of yetis must be transported to a safer place to escape tourists and hunters, siblings Con and Ellen, along with Perry the truck driver, aid them in the long journey to Agatha's ancestral Hampshire home. On the trip, the group saves the reputations of hapless St. Bernards, frees an entire zoo from a sultan's tyranny, and stops a Spanish bullfight. Once the yetis arrive at Farley Towers, they find it occupied by the Hunters' Club, who drop the yetis off in the middle of the Antarctic and plan to gun them down for sport. The novel is full of whimsy, charm, and sly humor. The yetis will tug at readers' heartstrings and make them laugh. The writing is lean, witty, and subtle. Ibbotson manages to touch on ethical messages of human rights, advocacy, and environmentalism without being obvious. The many happenings and asides within the narrative do not feel at all episodic but, instead, drive the plot forward in a smooth and logical manner. Struggling readers may have trouble deciphering a few British colloquialisms but will appreciate the quick pace of the prose. Published posthumously, this novel is a true gem among Ibbotson's many fine fantasies.—Elly Schook, Jamieson Elementary School, Chicago
Kirkus Reviews
Two children shepherd a family of yetis from the Himalayas to England in this Candide-like odyssey, left unfinished at Ibbotson's death in 2010 but buffed up by her son and editor. Impelled by the threat of imminent exposure and the hope of refuge in a certain British stately home, five yetis reluctantly leave their idyllic hidden valley. Guided by Con and Ellen, two young staff members from a recently opened tourist hotel, they board a sympathetic driver's refrigerated lorry for the long drive across the Middle East and Europe. Being thoroughly vegetarian and so gentle that they apologize to grass and fruit before they eat it, they're in for a series of nasty shocks. Not least among these is the discovery that their safe haven has been taken over by a hunters' club and thickly decorated with animal trophies. When the yetis are drugged by the hunters and shipped off to Antarctica for a private slaughter, it's left up to Con and Ellen to effect a rescue. Sprinkling her descriptions with words like "vile" and "filthy," Ibbotson really lets animal abusers and killers have it here--in sharp contrast to the yetis, who are outfitted with a winning mix of naïveté, noble-heartedness and amusing foibles such as backward-facing feet (which make them very hard to track). Robinson gives them the look of hairy, oversized Palmer Cox brownies in the frequent illustrations. A satiric farewell from a favorite author. (most illustrations not seen) (Fantasy. 10-13)

Product Details

Amulet Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Eva Ibbotson has long been a favorite of both children and adult readers on both sides of the Atlantic. Her novels include The Secret of Platform 13, Which Witch?, The Great Ghost Rescue, Island of the Aunts, Dial-a-Ghost, and Journey to the River Sea, which won the Smarties Prize. She died in 2010 at her home in Newcastle, England.

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The Abominables 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
murfe More than 1 year ago
Have read lots of books, once in a while want something light and innocent, and Eva Ibbotson fits the bill. Her books are funny, compelling, almost believable and always entertaining. This is her newest one and truly innovative. Great read for all ages, young or not so young.