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The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

4.8 103
by Julie Andrews Edwards, Laszlo Kubinyi (Illustrator)

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The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles was the second children’s novel ever written by Julie Andrews, the beloved star of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Perfect for young readers who love whimsical stories about magic!

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the


The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles was the second children’s novel ever written by Julie Andrews, the beloved star of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Perfect for young readers who love whimsical stories about magic!

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals—the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, "oily" Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with "peace, love and a sense of fun"—apart from and forgotten by people.

But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland.

With the Professor's help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart's desire.

The novel was originally published in 1974. This edition includes a foreword by Julie Andrews.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
30th Anniversary Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.56(w) x 10.86(h) x 0.63(d)
620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt


It was a crisp, sunny October afternoon and Benjamin, Thomas and Melinda Potter were visiting the Bramblewood Zoo.

They hadn't particularly wanted to visit the zoo, but Mrs. Potter had been very firm about it.

"Daddy has been working extremely hard," she had said,"and I think he needs an afternoon of peace and quiet. Here's some money. I suggest you go to the zoo."

There was no arguing with Mrs. Potter in this mood. So the three children had dutifully taken the bus from the stop at the corner of their street and had ridden through the pretty university town of Bramblewood as far as the zoo.

Although it was the end of October and very cold, the sun was shining brightly from an unusually clear sky. Only a few clouds on the horizon gave a hint of possible rain. Late autumn leaves blew along the pavement and rolled in through the main gates of the zoo as if inviting the children to follow.

On this lovely Sunday the place was crowded with visitors and there were popcorn sellers, balloon vendors and a man pushing a yellow cart piled high with toys. Children yelled happily as they scampered to the rides and to the animal cages.

In spite of their early reluctance to venture out, Benjamin, Thomas and Lindy had to admit, now that they were there, that the zoo didn't seem a bad place to visit after all.

"I want to see the tigers," Tom announced.

"I want to see the donkeys and the ducks," countered Lindy.

Donkeys and ducks," Tom scoffed. "Anyone can see a donkey or a duck, and you don't have to go to the zoo for it. That's just a waste of time."

"I know, I know," Lindy replied. "I justfeel like seeing a donkey and a duck today. I don't know why."

"Ohl look--if we're going to spend the afternoon trailing around, looking at animals like that. . ."

"Well, we're not,"' Ben interrupted firmly. He was used to his younger brother and sister squabbling with each other. 'Were going to see the elephants first. Because I'm the oldest and I'm in charge. C'mon."

The children visited the elephants and then the lions and the tigers.. They slowly moved on to see llamas and leopards and rhinos and reindeer; crocodiles and hippopotamuses and brown bears and polar bears. They watched the performing seals and Lindy saw three ducks and twelve penguins, which made her very happy.

Tom suggested that they visit the aquarium. They wandered through the dim corridors whose only light came from the many illuminated tanks in which turtles, sharks, eels and other underwater creatures were to be seen. It was gloomy and damp inside. Lindy was very glad when Ben chose to go to the reptile house. But she clung tightly to his hand as she gazed at the cobras and rattlesnakes and a giant python.

"I'd love one of those for a pet," Tom said enthusiastically.

"Ugh! I think they're gross. Really gross," Lindy exclaimed.

"You just say that 'cause you're scared of them."

"No, I don't. They're not my favorite things. But I'm not scared."

"Then why are you sucking your thumb?"

"I like the taste."

"Cut it out, you two," said Ben. "What shall we do next?"

Lindy announced that she was tired, cold and extremely hungry.

The children bought a bag of delicious, sticky looking doughnuts and three cups of hot, sugary chocolate. Carefully, they carried the steaming mugs to a bench that caught the late afternoon sunshine and which was close to a fenced yard containing two large, disdainful-looking giraffes.

Lindy had no sooner sat down than one of the giraffes spotted the doughnut she had in her hand and immediately undulated towards her on spindly legs, looking as though his knobby knees would buckle beneath him at any moment. The animal lifted his long neck over the wire netting and brought his face to within inches of Lindy's--just as she was about to take a large mouthful of her doughnut.

The giraffe and the child gazed at each other with serious concentration for a moment. Then Lindy solemnly said, "No," and moved herself and her doughnut farther along the bench out of the giraffe's way.

"That's really an extraordinary animal," mused Ben as he watched. "Imagine being born with a long neck like that. Imagine being able to reach the tops of trees quite easily."

"I'd like that," said Tom. "You could see the world from up there."

"I like giraffes a lot." Lindy spoke with her mouth full.

"If you could have any animal out of the zoo, which one would you like to take home?" Ben suddenly asked.

"The python." Tom spoke without hesitation.

"Gross," said Lindy. "I'd have a penguin. What would you have, Ben?"

"Mm, I dunno." Ben thought about it as he sipped his hot chocolate. "I'd like something unusual. An orangutan, perhaps. Or an anteater. Maybe a gorilla."

"You'll excuse my butting in," said a voice immediately behind the children. "But if You're looking for something really unusual, have YOU ever considered a Whangdoodle?"

The children spun around.

Sitting on the grass behind them knees drawn up almost to his chin, was a small man. He was holding a rolled umbrella made of clear plastic.

"I beg your pardon, sir," Ben said, "did you say something?"

"Yes, I did. I said, have you ever considered a Whangdoodle?"

The little man got up slowly. He had a round cheerful face with bright blue, sparkling eyes, and the few hairs still growing on his balding head were long and grey and flying in all directions. He wore an old brown sports jacket and a blue-checked shirt with a purple, yellow-spotted scarf tied in a casual bow.

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. Copyright © by Julie Edwards. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Julie Andrews Edwards is one of the most recognized figures in the world of entertainment. She is perhaps best known for her performances in Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and The Princess Diaries. Ms. Edwards is the author of many favorite children's books, including Mandy, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, and the Little Bo series. She and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, an arts educator and theater professional, have coauthored over twenty books for young readers, including Simeon's Gift, The Great American Mousical, Thanks to You: Wisdom from Mother & Child, and the recent New York Times bestsellers The Very Fairy Princess and Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. Emma is also the author of Raising Bookworms.

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Last Of The Really Great Whangdoodles 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 103 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Julie Andrews truely has talent both on the screen and on paper! Her story of the Potter children's adventure into Whangadoodle land was quite the adventure! Kids may look at it and go Oh My gosh! Its so big! But it is worth every word and page. You wouldnt be able to skip one word nor one page. Its that good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
13 Year Old Boy. I loved this book! If your a teenager and into fiction novels then this book will blow your mind. Another Great Book to read after this is The Phantom Tollbooth by Justin Norton
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in Elementary and absolutely LOVED it. I had such a wonderful time stepping into the world of the Whangdoodles and imagining this fantasy world. It can be read by all ages and be excessively enjoyed, if you adored The Phantom Tollbooth, you will adore this as well.
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
Ben, Tom and Lindy didn’t know what to think of Professor Savant when they first met him. As they got to know him more and more, the kids find out he’s a really nice guy. The Professor teaches them about the Whangdoodle (a creature that is kind and beautiful) and how the Whangdoodle really exists and he is searching for it. The Professor also teaches the kids about life and to really “see it” and “hear it” and “smell and taste it”. The Professor and the children find the secret way to Whangdoodle Land only to find trouble waiting for them. They all work together to find the last Whangdoodle. THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME!!! Let me say it again… AWESOME! It was s story like the Chronicles of Narnia where I got very involved in it. The characters were very realistic and I liked every one of them. The plot of the book was fun and I LOVE the life lessons the Professor gives the kids. The story kept me turning the pages – I read the book in one day. Whangdoodleland (the world of the Whangdoodle) was unique and I really enjoyed reading about how the kids and Professor got through their adventure. There are a couple different cover versions for this book, but I think this one is my favorite. I loved everything about this book. **NOTE I was given a copy of this book as a gift.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BEST book my class has ever read. We have been reading this book for years and past students still say it is their all time favorite !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book to my second graders and every year I get the same response when I finish- applause and cheering!!!!
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In The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles Ben, Lindy, and Tom (3 children) are at the zoo and meet a strange guy. They go home and Lindy gets dared to knock on the house that everybody thinks is haunted. On Halloween, Lindy takes the dare and the strange man (from the zoo) comes to the door. The man's name is Professor Samuel Savant. The kids and Mr. Savant become friends and travel to a new world in search of a whangdoodle. But they have to get through dangers that could kill them. Will they stay alive? If they do, will they meet the Whangdoodle? Find out in The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. I recommend this book to 3rd through 6th graders as long as they believe in the impossible. I like this book because it's exiting and it takes you into the impossible world of imagination. ~ Anna
clemmy More than 1 year ago
So Mary Poppins (and Fraulein Maria) wrote this lovely story. I am seventeen now, and I still pick this up occasionally just for fun. It is a very imaginative story, and I must say that this is still my favorite fantasy story. Seriously, who doesn't love a Whangdoodle? Only people with agile imaginations can get to this Whangdoodleland, and Professor Savant (which means intelligent and scholarly) helps three children (Ben, Tom, and Melinda Potter) to get to this magical land by first honing their imaginations, and then by going there themselves. Then Professor Savant has to help the whangdoodle (the only one left due to so few people believing in them) find/make another whangdoodle. I love this story, and it is very kid-friendly and safe.
AndyMo More than 1 year ago
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is a story about three kids that are named Ben, Tom, and Lindy Potter. They meet a professor at a zoo. The professor tells the children about the wise and magical creature the Whangdoodle. The children are on a mission to find the last of the really great whangdoodles. The journey will not be easy. The children will have to learn how to see things in a whole different way. The Prime Minister of Whangdoodleland is trying to stop the children in any way he can. Can the children make the journey, get past the Prime Minister and see the Whangdoodle? I like this book because it is full of adventure and it is very unusual. I think Julie Andrews Edwards does a good job making everything sound so real (even though it is not real). I recommend this book for 3rd and 4th graders that are looking for something unusual. I think they should read this book because it is full of humor and it can help you learn to stick to a mission without giving up. As the book says, "If you're looking for something really unusual have you ever considered a Whangdoodle?" ~andrea
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