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I have always been a fan of team-ups. As a kid reading comics I could take or leave Iron Man and Thor but put them in an Avengers book with a handful of other heroes and I’d gladly part with my allowance money every month. This book teams up classic children’s book characters Dorothy (Wizard of Oz), Wendy Darling (Peter Pan), and Alice (Alice in Wonderland), bringing them together in a school for gifted youngsters like a 1910 era X-Men.
This is a fun, rollicking, world hopping adventure. Some liberties are taken with the characters – Wendy Darling looks like she would be more at home handing out Riot Grrl fanzines in Portland than traipsing about turn of the century England – but I’m a firm believer that if you want classic characters to live on you need to allow them to evolve with the times.
The action and drama come quick, making the book feel a bit rushed at times, but overall this is an enjoyable all-ages read, easily finished in one sitting. If it makes any young (or old) readers seek out these characters in their original books that would be an excellent bonus.
I especially enjoyed the girls’ nanny, an unnamed (because still under copyright) but startlingly creepy take on Mary Poppins. And Peter Pan’s reactions after being aged by eating Wonderland berries and thrust into puberty after centuries as a boy added a good dose of humor to the tale.
Overall I’d recommend this as an all-ages option for readers looking for further adventures of these classic characters or just in search of a fun standalone adventure. Some parents might not want to give it to very young readers – violence is depicted and profanity (in the form of grawlixes) is used for humorous effect – but that is a matter of personal preference. I have no qualms about reading this with my seven-year-old daughter and think it will make a good introduction for her to these characters.