Marion Lloyd Books
A hundred years ago, in the Himalayan peaks of Nanvi Dar, the daughter of an English earl is kidnapped by a huge hairy monster. In a secret valley Agatha Farley is introduced to a family of motherless yetis and devotes her life to their upbringing. She teaches them to speak, tells them stories and insists on polite manners. But as the decades pass, tourists come to the mountains, a hotel is built and yeti-hunters arrive. Agatha knows that there is one place in the world where they would be protected - her ancetral home at Farley Towers. When a boy and his sister stumble upon her hidden valley, she knows she has found the courageous people who will carry out her plan. The excited yetis are smuggled into the bridal suite at the hotel. A freezer lorry is waiting to put them into semi-hibernation on the long trip home. But the baby yak that has fallen in love with the youngest yeti foils the refrigeration plan and they set off on a hugely entertaining road trip half way across the world. In the Sultan of Aslerfan's kingdom the yetis release all the animals from his zoo. In the Alps they rescue a lost child in a blizzard. In Spain, the yak creates chaos at a bullfight. But when they arrive in England, a terrible shock awaits them at Farley Towers...This early novel, never submitted for publication, contains all the trademark qualities that made Eva's subsequent books so successful; comedy, loveable and eccentric characters, perfectly-crafted plotting, and inspiring themes of tolerance, kindness to animals, and the defeat of cruelty.Librarian's Book choice
This really must be the final treat for young readers from the wonderful Eva Ibbotson who sadly died in 2010. The unfinished manuscript was found after her death and completed by her son and her editor Marion Lloyd, but it remains entirely the Eva Ibbotson quality we have loved. Nobody knows why she did not choose to publish it during her lifetime since it is, like One Dog and His Boy, an absolutely perfect piece of storytelling for young readers.
All her characteristic warmth and humour are there and in her clever, subtle way she stirs up moral outrage in the reader on behalf of the underdog or in this case Yeti! When their Tibetan hideout is threatened by tourists and developers the redoubtable but aged Lady Agatha, who has spent her life educating and caring for the Yeti family, has to recruit some young helpers to get the creatures to what she hopes will be the safety of her ancestral home in Hampshire.
In the course of their amazing journey, the Yetis learn a lot about the modern world and right a few wrongs in hilarious fashion. But the biggest battle awaits them and in Jubilee year it is a really nice touch that it is the Queen who comes to the rescue. Hearts and minds are totally engaged in this story and reading it aloud and sharing with a class will be a joy to savour.