Uncle Cleans Up (New York Review Children's Collection)
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It is a time of rejoicing at Homeward, the Labyrinthine castle-city that is as magical as Oz and as full of wonders as Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Uncle, the wise, kind, generous, and fabulously rich elephant who rules over Homeward, has joined with his many friends to celebrate their triumph over the ruffians in neighboring Badfort.
Still, there’s plenty of cleaning up to do in Homeward: the waterworks are tainted with vinegar, housing is scarce, and the Dwarftown Railway is terribly overcrowded— meanwhile the Badfort crowd has devised its most diabolical plan yet. Uncle will need all the help he can get from his faithful assistant Old Monkey and from Goodman the literate cat—and possibly a wizard’s spell—to get through this mess.
Uncle Cleans Up displays the same subversive humor and ingenious plotting as its predecessor, Uncle, and serves as a no less delightful introduction to J.P. Martin’s fantastic world; Quentin Blake’s quirky drawings accompany a tale that has been charming children and adults alike for nearly fifty years.
his paws and purring loudly at exciting places. When he gets to a very thrilling part, he mews, and sometimes he leaves the book and rushes round the room. Of course, the One-Armed Badger went. There is nothing he likes better than going on an expedition with Uncle and loading himself to the ground with things that might be wanted. Today he had outdone himself by devising a great pack that so covered him that you could scarcely see him at all. He looked like a great bale of goods shuffling
had had a very heavy day. 9 CADCOON’S SALE In the early hours of next morning, Uncle was awakened from a refreshing sleep by the Old Monkey. “There’s a big blaze, sir! I’m afraid that Cadcoon’s Store is on fire.” Uncle bundled himself into a dressing-gown and looked out of the window. On the top of Cadcoon’s hill there was a blaze that looked like an erupting volcano. “That must be Cadcoon’s Store,” said Uncle. “It’s doomed, that is quite clear. There is hardly any water on that hill.”
engine and they rode home. 14 ON THE UNDERGROUND It was a dim winter afternoon, and Uncle was feeling slightly depressed. The morning had been quite prosperous. He had had some large cheques for maize, and had been asked by the King of the Badgers to open a sale of bananas and coconuts in aid of distressed badgers. He likes opening sales because it gives him a chance of wearing his best purple dressing-gown and elephant’s gold-studded boots. These were cheering things, but on the other
though the Hateman crowd are somewhere about, sir,” said the Old Monkey. “I certainly don’t like the look of that coach,” said Uncle. “Oh, let’s go in the motor-coach!” shouted Little Liz, jumping up and down. “We’ll walk,” said Uncle. 18 UNCLE’S MUSEUM When they got outside the station, Museum Avenue stretched before them. It was called an avenue, though it was actually lined not with trees but with colossal elephants. Each was far bigger than Uncle and stood with trunk upraised. At
rooms which surrounded it. This he was determined to prevent. Uncle thundered after him, and caught him just as he was getting near the office of the Badfort News on the other side of the square. Even for Uncle it was a great kick-up. Beaver Hateman was holding a huge lighted cigar in his hand, and the wind made it glow so that everybody could see in the sky what looked like a slowly soaring red light. Then it came down, down, down, towards Gaby’s Marsh. In the meantime Captain Walrus and