Uncle does not often go on holiday as very few hotels provide beds big enough for elephants. At Sunset Beach he hopes for a real rest and change, but almost at once fifty camels, led by the courteous Claudius, arrive with news of trouble at his great castle of Homeward.
From this moment his attempts to have a holiday are interrupted by one unexpected happening after another. Uncle and his faithful followers rescue holiday-makers from the sinister Wheel House, use paraballoons at the Fun Fair, and face a fearful monster at Water-Step Hill. There’s the noisy braying affair of Idleass and Hot Donk; Fishy William at Comfort Cove; breakfast with the miraculous Singing Flower; high tea with the Glenmore Giraffes. A succession of fantastic adventures lead to the awesome moment when Uncle is chained and helpless at the mercy of the Badfort Crowd in Beaver Hateman’s Chamber of Horrors. Can Uncle possibly escape this time?
"A riot of nonsense and adventure, may well become a classic in the great English nonsense tradition"
"Joyously surreal, set in landscapes full of toffee, deferential choirs of badgers, heavenly water-slides and velvet chairs . . . Their pachydermous protagonist governs a benevolent plutocracy- but the books' great joy is the frequent sly and subtle lampooning of his capitalist pomp"
"The books are very funny, installing a large cast of unlikely characters . . . in a world of mildly squiffy logic . . . And the illustrations are among Quentin Blake’s best work, scrawls and splotches that finally and unarguably distil character. But most important, this is political satire of a high order — Animal Farm for pre-teens, but wittier and more relevant to our own world"
"Few books are laugh-out-loud funny; fewer still are the children's books that have you stifling titters on the train . . . Uncle is a brilliantly sustained exercise in nonsense, played with the straightest of faces"
"You ask any class "Who's heard of Alice in Wonderland" and up goes a forest of hands. Uncle is on the same level and should be more widely read and enjoyed"