The Trouble with Whatchamacallits

Children - Adventure
76 Pages
Reviewed on 03/14/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Have you ever heard of the Whatchamacallits? Neither have I, but Toab certainly knows about them. Just awakened from a long winter’s slumber, this large, furry, and very loveable creature is on his way to meet two children, Mark and Julie, his best friends, when he’s attacked by a horde of Whatchamacallits. They’re tiny little orange creatures that plague Toab and pull at his skin and fur. They just won’t leave him alone – almost worse than ticks and mosquitoes combined. Vera Mont shares Toab’s plight in The Trouble with Whatchamacallits. Toab seeks help from his friends and together they problem-solve to make Toab’s life a little easier, and a little less bothered by the Whatchamacallits. And, in the process, Toab regains some of his self-confidence.

Vera Mont’s middle-grade book, The Trouble with Whatchamacallits, is a clever and humorous story to teach young people about teamwork, problem-solving, and gaining confidence. The story is told in simple language to help youngsters with their reading skills. With black-and-white sketches by Daina Valiulis, the story moves along quickly, following Toab’s initial attack and the ever-growing bond he shares with the children. With a never-give-up motto, the team works together to create one solution after another as Toab struggles with his self-esteem and his ever-growing fear of the Whatchamacallits. And, in the end, the solution is one no one would have thought of, until they all got together and talked things out. Collaboration at its finest – well done! (Oh, and by the way, they're not really called Whatchamacallits, but perhaps you should read the story to find out what their real name is.)

Nino Lobiladze

The Trouble with Whatchamacallits by Vera Mont is an engaging story for 7–10-year-old fans of fantasy and adventure. Toab enjoys a sunny spring day and hurries to see his friends, Mark and Julie. But on his way to the farm where Toab's friends live, he encounters the annoying little creatures called Whatchamacallits. They run toward Toab and start to pull his long white hair out! Finally, a disheveled and very upset Toab reaches his friends' farm. Mark and Julie try to comfort Toab and come up with a suggestion. They will attach old clothes to Toab to make him look like a group of people. Will the children's plan work? And what if the Whatchamacallits recognize him despite his new appearance?

Vera Mont's The Trouble with Whatchamacallits immerses young readers in a great adventure. The author offers a unique world-building that includes the kind and friendly Toab. Naive and a little clumsy, Toab elicits deep sympathy right away. Vera crafts other interesting characters for young readers to study. Julie and Mark are honest and responsible children who help their parents with chores. These children love Toab and do their best to help him. They are resourceful and have vivid imaginations. Vera explains to young readers what life on a farm is like. The author tells children that we should find the cause of a problem before jumping to conclusions. The Trouble with Whatchamacallits is a concept book that conveys a meaningful message of friendship, mutual support, and acceptance. Daina Valiulis's lovely illustrations bring the characters of The Trouble with Whatchamacallits to life.

Pikasho Deka

The Trouble with Whatchamacallits is a children's adventure story written by Vera Mont and featuring some beautiful artwork by Daina Valiulis. It's the start of spring, and Toab is walking down a country road to meet his friends when little orange creatures called Whatchamacallits swoop down the hillside to grab at him and pull his hair. When Toab reaches his friends, Mark and Julie, they see he seems unsettled. They begin to cover Toab in camouflage to make sure he doesn't get bothered by the Whatchamacallits on his way home. But with his hair covered in lilacs, wasps and bees start attacking Toab. Now, Mark and Julie must find a way to get rid of the Whatchamacallits once and for all by using Toab as bait. Will they succeed?

Get ready to satiate your adventure appetite with this wondrously imaginative and fascinating children's story, The Trouble with Whatchamacallits. Vera Mont tells a heartwarming tale that demonstrates the importance of teamwork and showcases how friends support each other in times of need to overcome unexpected challenges that come along. Mont's smooth writing style makes the narrative a breeze to read. Toab and the Whatchamacallits have distinct traits and appearances, and Daina Valiulis' captivating illustrations capture their idiosyncrasies perfectly on the pages. I adored the friendship between Mark, Julie, and Toab, and how the siblings went out of their way to help Toab. This is a tale that adventure fans will devour with relish -- both children and young adults!

Michelle Stanley

The Trouble with Whatchamacallits is a children’s adventure by Vera Mont. Toab is a very hairy creature who lives in a cave. He loves visiting his friends Mark and Julie on their farm where there are many fun things to do. They brush his hair because he doesn’t have hands. Toab’s big fear is the Whatchamacallits who always attack him and pull out his hair whenever he visits his friends. Mark and Julie decided to do something about the horrible treatment Toab received by disguising him in costumes, but the Whatchamacallits weren’t fooled. Toab was dyed green and sprayed with sweet perfume to look and smell like a bush but got stung by wasps. Julie and Mark went to find the Whatchamacallits to tell them to stop bullying Toab. But they were surprised by the Whatchamacallits' reactions and why they attacked Toab.

No one likes being attacked or bullied and Toab had his fair share in this touching children’s adventure, The Trouble with Whatchamacallits by Vera Mont. Every problem has a solution and Toab was lucky to have Mark and Julie as friends. They were supportive and found creative ways to deal with Toab's problem. It didn’t matter that Toab did not have hands either. He was their friend and they wanted him to be happy. The story is well-written and meaningful, with lovely sketches by Daina Valiulis. The Trouble with Whatchamacallits by Vera Mont is a great story recommended for young children as they can learn life lessons from it.

Kayleigh Perumal

The Trouble with Whatchamacallits by Vera Mont is an adorable children’s adventure story that will appeal to various age groups. Mark and Julie are visited often by their unique friend, Toab. However, Toab’s journey to the children’s house is made difficult in spring, as the Whatchamacallits attack and terrorize him on his way there. Whatchamacallits are strange creatures that resemble orange birds, except with hands and arms instead of wings. Mark and Julie feel very sorry for Toab, so they decide to try to help him. The children come up with a series of creative and determined ways to foil the Whatchamacallits. Valiantly, they seek alternative methods whenever a plan fails. Will Toab ever be free of the pesky Whatchamacallits?

Vera Mont’s writing style is descriptive and accessible for young audiences to follow along easily. The language is simple, and the tone is sincere. The Trouble with Whatchamcallits explores several values that would be useful to instill in children. For example, the children’s collaboration, innovation, and persistence are highly admirable qualities. Toab’s character development is also inspiring, as he confronts his fear of the Whatchamacallits for the sake of his friends. Daina Valiulis’s stunning illustrations enhance the story, bringing the pages seamlessly to life. This is a delightful story that combines educational life lessons with an engaging plot. If you like Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree series and The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, then this is definitely a good choice for you. Anyone who likes an old-fashioned, heart-warming tale will enjoy this.