The Wind on the Moon
by Eric Linklater, illustrated by Nicolas Bentley
Before heading off to war Major Palfrey reminds his two daughters, Dinah and Dorinda, to be good while he is gone. But the sisters aren’t sure that they can do it. As Dinah admits, “I think that we are quite likely to be bad, however hard we try not to be.” Sure enough, the sisters soon are up to their usual mischief. They convince a judge that minds must be changed as often as socks, stage an escape from the local zoo (thanks to a witch’s potion that turns them into kangaroos), and—in the company of a golden puma and silver falcon—set off to rescue their father from the wicked tyrant of Bombardy. Written at the height of World War II, this tale of hilarity and great adventure is also a work of high seriousness; after all, “life without freedom,” as the valiant puma makes clear, “is a poor, poor thing.”
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A wildly inventive fantasy that just begs to be read aloud.
—The Horn Book Magazine
I remember the feeling of wildness the title [The Wind on the Moon] evoked, the sense of branches and clouds shaking against a strange light. There is a great deal of night in the book, but it is a protecting, welcoming, transforming darkness, where the bold are rewarded. The Wind on the Moon is a wartime book.... It is not a prisoner of the time, though, and one of its delights is the cavalier way in which Linklater swings between pure fantasy and the everyday made fantastic. [Nicolas Bentley’s] elegant, spare line drawings round out the richness of the book.
—James Meek, The Guardian
Eric Linklater’s delightful fantasy belongs in that section of the bookshelf alongside Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, and The Wind in the Willows because it shares the same quality of believable magic.
Hand it to your youngest and he will undoubtedly be highly entertained by the saga of Dinah and Dorinda and their misdeeds; give it to your best friend and he will be entertained by the delicate satire on every page.
—The Boston Globe