Showing posts from September 27, 2021

Review: The What On Earth Institute of Wonder

Lisa Nicol’s whimsical way with words is becoming the stuff of legend. Her narratives are an intoxicating mix of wonderment, cheek and incredible heart; a strange combination but one that makes her middle grade novels fulfilling and memorable. The What on Earth Institute of Wonder perpetuates this premise while managing to incorporate an African forest elephant and a New Zealand Kakapo into the same sentence, never mind the same Kombi van! And yes! I knew I was in for something special once a Kombi was mentioned. At its heart, this story is a vigorous nod towards biodiversity and the need to repair the ‘magnificent jigsaw puzzle’ of Earth and all its creatures. It is also a rollicking tale of adventure, misfortune, villainous wrong-doers and the extreme force of friendship. We are cautioned by Nicol’s that this is a strange story, the type that is often hard to believe but of course, for most children that is of little consequence. So when Sal befriends a talking parrot and then di