Book Review- The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders
The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders is about Emily who is visited by stuffed animals after her sister’s death. When Emily’s sister, Holly, dies she is surprised to find that she misses Bluey, her stuffed bear, just as much. Bluey was Holly’s constant companion and she used to make up stories about him and his escapades in a magical (and silly) world called Smockeroon to entertain her.
And the only person who seems to understand Emily’s grief is Ruth her kindly next-door-neighbor. But then very strange things begin to happen. Emily dreams of talking toys visiting her room, telling her that they are from Smockeroon and that they have a message from Bluey.
A terrible toad who stinks of sadness begins to stalk Ruth’s house. And when a parade of penguins, wearing plastic mustaches, march through their kitchen, Emily begins to question whether this is all a dream after all. But why are the toys here and what could Bluey possibly be trying to tell her that’s so important?
In this story, Emily has lost her younger sister, Holly, and along with her, Bluey her favorite stuffed bear. Emily used to make stories about Bluey and a Land which she made up called Smockeroon. Later one night she wakes up to find stuffed bears and toys on her bed claiming that Smockeroon really exists! In the day she reasons that it was just a dream and puts it aside. Later she starts seeing a black toad, that reeks of sadness.
After another sequence of absurdities, she is absolutely sure that none of these was a dream. Later she informs her next-door neighbor Ruth about this, who understands her grief about her sister because she had lost her son.
Later they discover that sadness from their world (the hard world as the toys call it) is leaking into Smockeroon and the silliness from Smockeroon is leaking into the real world!
Now the two must figure out a way to seal up the door which is causing all this trouble. And the only way to do that is to get help from the great Sturvey, the person who supposedly acts as the government, to fix everything. But for that, they need to know where he is…
The Land of Neverendings is a great book full of laughter, sorrow and imagination. This story does not lack in creativity, it is very unique and I love the entire concept of Smockeroon. The idea that there is another world out there that purely consists of kids’ imagination is a joy to read. Emily was obviously very close to her sister and it is always a hard experience losing someone you loved.
And in this case, she lost all the imagination that came with it. Blue was the way they connected and now it just reminds Emily of Holly. This story is trying to tell you that there is still imagination left in it. Nobody is too young to the imagination!
The way this story is written is also applaudable. The main plot is very complicated, with lots of different aspects involved, however, the way Kate Saunders has written it , not only makes it easy for the readers to read but keeps their imagination ticking. I have really enjoyed reading this book because it is full of creativity and grief which are too things you don’t see together often. I recommend this book to all vivid readers!
“This was a very parentish thing to say; parents didn’t understand that teachers never listened to explanations.”
Another special feature that I found while reading this book is that it makes you miss your childhood and will definitely make you look back to your childhood day with fondness. One of my favorite characters is a doll that Emily used to play with her friend. She is back and out for revenge, for all the marker scribbled on her face!
About the Author
Kate Saunders is an English author, actress and journalist. She has worked for numerous magazines and newspapers in the UK, including the Daily Telegraph, Cosmopolitan and Sunday Times. She was also a regular contributor to radio and television, including appearances on a couple of Radio 4 programs. Saunders has also written multiple books for children and adults such as ‘Five Children on the Western Front’ , ‘Beswitched’, ‘The Land of Neverendings’ and ‘The Little Secret’.
Overall, I give rate The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders a five out of five stars
If you liked this book, then similar books include:
- The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson
- A Sprinkle of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison
- The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson
- When the Mountains Roared by Jess Butterworth
- The Boy At the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Raúf
I would recommend this book for readers between the ages of 9 and 14. As this book is based and constructed from imagination! Which is basically what reading is all about. I feel that this book is great for children with big imaginations. but at the same time, it is also has a very sad death. but overall, definitely worth the read!