Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

My Curious Uncle Dudley

My Curious Uncle Dudley

Barry Yourgrau
Illustrator:  Tony Auth 
For ages 9 to 12
Candlewick, 2004   ISBN: 0763619353

Duncan Peckle’s life has always been a very ordinary sort of life, nothing very exciting or untoward seems to happen to him or his family. Then Uncle Dudley arrives for a visit. Duncan’s dad is not pleased to see Uncle Dudley for some reason, but Duncan thinks he is a fascinating man, full of stories of the grand adventures he has had in the far-off places he has been to. Duncan’s dad simply is not keen on being put in the spotlight by his famous author brother, liking instead a quiet inconspicuous life for himself and his family. He is therefore unsure about leaving Uncle Dudley “in loco parentis” with Duncan while he and his wife go away for a short while. However, Uncle Dudley  is delighted at the idea and he persuades Duncan’s parents that he will take very good care of their son.

Problems arise when Duncan decides that he is perfectly suited to being his uncle’s assistant. It would appear that Uncle Dudley likes to dabble in magic and is not unfamiliar with the casting of spells, though he is not terribly skilled in the art. In a very short period of time Duncan and his uncle have managed to get themselves into several very sticky situations; summoning up goblins, creating enormous bubbles that they try to ride on, and brewing up a love potion that causes no end of confusion in the small community.

With delightfully dry humor and comical cartoon like illustrations, the misadventures of Duncan and his unpredictable uncle are sure to entertain and amuse young readers.