N is for Noomo by Nett

Noomo, the cover boy

I’m a kiddie lit junkie. I say it proudly. My library contains many of Lang’s Rainbow Fairy Tales books, AB THE CAVE BOY, as many of Terhune’s collie books as I can find, SOUTH SEA ADVENTURES, as many Freddie the Pig books as I can lay hands on, FIVE BOYS IN A CAVE, and Roger Nett’s THORNTREE MEADOWS.

THORNTREE MEADOWS was first published in 1957. I don’t know when I first read it, or when I lost it, but it was only a few years ago that my mother, through the power of the internet, surprised me by buying me a copy. I was afraid to re-read it, afraid it wouldn’t be as good as I remembered. I’m happy to report that it was. 🙂

Now, Kirkus gave it a bad review, which only means that the Kirkus reviewer is not seriously twisted. That could be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on one’s attitude toward serious twistiosity.

Noomo, the lead character in THORNTREE MEADOWS, is a hippopotamus who shares a bucolic area in what appears to be England? America? some temperate zone, at any rate, with an aardvark, a pig named Hamlet, and a living stuffed dog named Orlon. There is no explanation given of why these animals are in this place, or how a dog that is a toy dog with a tag sewn into his ear (that’s how they know his name is Orlon) is alive. The story doesn’t break stride when the aardvark’s den is flooded and they use Orlon to mop it out. He doesn’t mind.

Then there’s the time the ants kidnap the aardvark and hold him for ransom until he promises not to eat them anymore.

Noomo is a rather philosophical hippopotamus, though not quite the “uncarved block” that is Pooh.

THORNTREE MEADOWS makes me happy. And that’s a good thing.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What was your character’s favorite story when he or she was little?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “N is for Noomo by Nett

  1. Jane

    April 16, 2012 at 10:45am

    Not sure about the favorite childhood story answer: but Freddy the Pig was a genius series! I loved Jinx the Cat. Beautiful Joe, I recall as being special. All the Black Stallion series. I read Heinlein at a young age and loved his “juveniles.” I read everything in the grade school library, so I hit a lot of biographies that seemed very fascinating, as well as the Blue, etc. Fairy tale books and mythology books. Anyway, I was never exposed at a young age to some classics, such as The Little Prince, etc. AND I hated Dr. Seuss as a kid. Just hated those weird drawings with a yucky passion (Except for Horton, of course).

    Oh, Yes. One day I found my favorite princess book, long lost in time, at the grocery, and I bought it straight off: Cinderella, with all the proper illos of her beautiful dresses. Still have it (I hope).

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 16, 2012 at 11:30am

      YES! That Cinderella book! I think my obsession with Pretty Lady Dresses must have begun with that. 🙂

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