Saturday, 25 June 2016

RJF // The Gammage Cup

From the back of the Book:

The Minnipins have lost their past.

Long ago, the hero Gammage led them in war against the horrible Hairless Ones. But now -
Bravery? Forgotten. Courage? No more. Heroes? The stuff of storybooks. Yet sometimes heroes turn up when they are least expected. . .

Muggles, Gummy the poet, and Walter the Earl are not like the other Minnipins. They dress differently, speak their minds, and - when Walter the Earl finds a package of old scrolls and swords - dare to disagree with the Minnipin leaders. For their troubles, they are banished from their village. But Walter the Earl found the weapons for a reason: The Hairless Ones have returned. And this time there is no Gammage to protect the Minnipins. This time there are only Muggles and her friends, outlaws who must rescue the very people who have cast them out.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The birds are twittering,
And squirrels chittering, 
As we go flittering
Down the brook. 

The dew is glittering, 
Grasshoppers spittering, 
And trout are frittering
In search of a hook. 

— Gummy 

Believe it or not, chittering, flittering, and frittering are actually real words. Spittering….well, that’s made up. But it’s by Gummy, what’d ya expect? :P 

The Gammage Cup has been a favourite of mine ever since I first picked it up. Carol Kendall definitely knows how to keep her readers hooked throughout the entire novel! 

The story follows five brave Minnipins in their adventure against the Hairless Ones and their quest for freedom. Here is a character summary: 

Walter the Earl: For years, all Walter the Earl ever did was dig, dig, dig in his search for hidden treasure. Despite the villagers’ scoffs, Walter the Earl is determined in finding his ancestors’ treasure. And when one day he finally does find it, it comes in handy much more than anyone, even he, expected. 

Gummy the Poet: For the most part, Gummy is very lazy. He loves rhyming and makes up funny little scribbles (aka rhymes) on the spur of the moment. You could probably say Gummy’s one of the more sillier characters in The Gammage Cup. There’s always that someone who adds the humour that makes a good book more enjoyable! ;)  

Mingy the Money Collector: Now why would anyone name their character 'Mingy'? Well…I’m guessing Ms. Kendall wanted it to rhyme with stingy. ‘Cause that’s definitely what Mingy was. Note how I said was though! After he chooses to be banished with Curly, Gummy, Walter, and Muggles, his stinginess surprisingly goes away - just like that. Despite the hard countenance that he most always wears, he can be a quite likeable character, as Muggles finds out. 

Curly Green the Painter: Curly Green expresses herself best in her blobs. What are blobs, you might ask? Well, they’re simply little paintings that you blob of random things at random times. At the beginning of the novel, she is most known for her front door, which she paints a brilliant scarlet instead of the standard green that all Minnipins used.

Muggles: Just plain Muggles. Everyone thinks she is simple-minded; no one asks for her opinion. That is, until she is outlawed with her four new friends. Life changes after that, and she, along with everybody else, realizes that she isn’t as simpleminded as was believed. Muggles has a good, sensible head on her shoulders, compared to some of the other outlaws. As a result, she naturally rises to the position of leader after the banishment from Slipper-on-the-Water. She is the one who gets everyone organized in working together and building shelters in preparation for winter. She is the one who notices what needs to be done, and does them. She sees things as they literally are, and writes maxims that go something like this: “ When something happens, something else always happens” and “The only good mushroom is a cooked mushroom” and “A turtle should take fright at a boiling pot.” 

The Periods: The Periods are the descendants of Fooley the Magnificent. When Fooley returned to Slipper-on-the-Water all those years ago, he had brought with him a list of words that no one could make sense of. His wife finally decided that they were the names of friends that Fooley had made on his expedition, and instantly began naming her children after them. And ever after, all the descendants of Fooley carried with great, and rather overbearing, pride these very distinguished and special-looking names, all with periods after them. Here is a list of these oh-so-special names, along with Fooley’s wife’s pronunciation of them: 

                                     Ltd.        ~    Litted (to rhyme with fitted
Co.        ~    Coe
    Bros.    ~    Bross
   Wm.    ~    Wim
      Geo.      ~    Gee-oh
 Eng.      ~    Eng
   Scot.     ~    Scot
     Etc.        ~    Etcuh 
 Rd.         ~    Rid
 St.           ~   Stuh
                                 Ave.          ~    Ave (to rhyme with save)
&.           ~    ??? 

The Hairless Ones: That’s a very peculiar name, isn’t it? It’s accurate though. Here’s a description from the book:

"They were taller than Minnipins by at least a head, and they wore tight brownish-white clothes that fitted like skin, so that their round bellies bulged fat as puff toads. Their heads were almost hairless, and mushroom-coloured like their suits, as though they lived their days in dank caves, and they had ears twice the size of Mingy's own." 

The Hairless Ones are the fierce enemies of the Minnipins. There had been peace after Gammage drove the Mushrooms (as they’re also known) from the valley. But then one day, they return. . . 

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