Fab Five Things about Wobblin’ Wobin #WobblinWobin #BlogTour

Meet Robin, or rather, Wobin: a metal garden ornament transported from England to the beautiful French Riviera. He’s lonely and can’t speak French. Neither can he fly, which is a bit unfortunate for a bird. This is his story about learning to fly and being brave.

Title: The Amazing Adventures of Wobblin’ Wobin
Author: Tony Rocca
Release Date: 30th April 2019
Genre: Middle Grade
Page Count: 182
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45296090-the-amazing-adventures-of-wobblin-wobin
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amazing-Adventures-Wobblin-Wobin-ebook/dp/B07QM3DC9B

Fab Five Things about Wobblin’ Wobin

  1. Spirit of Adventure.

It’s a kind of travel book for children, with intimate insights into cities and sites that have captured the imagination of millions of travellers beforehand, but never until now through the medium of a small and inquisitive ornamental robin. First there is Cannes with its glamorous beaches and fascinating Provençal market; its islands close offshore where the Man In The Iron Mask was incarcerated on orders of a Golden King. Then Nice, the capital of the region, once a part of Italy and full of surprises for a bird out for a spot of adventure. In the crowded back streets of the old quarter of the city that could have been transported from Naples he gets entangled with a mob of magpies (the Magpie Mafia) who first mug him, then want to adopt him as their front man. How he gets out of their claws is one of the highlights of the book. Finally, Monaco –  the world’s smallest country with its casino, palace, star-filled hotels, beautiful people and super-rich living in High Society. Stacks of high-rise apartments in beanstalk towers that our robin thinks of as nesting boxes for millionaires. It’s where the robin gets to bump into Royalty, and blushingly sees himself as a proud redbreast.

  1. Triumph over adversity.

The robin starts with several disadvantages. He was created as a metal garden ornament in a London slum by a nice old man who, on threat of eviction, decided to blow up all his works in a blaze of fire. Only he survived – with a bashed body, a fat and swollen tummy, a beak stuck open at a peculiar angle and wings half the length they should have been. He was still stuck on a perch attached to a bedspring, though, which made him wobble a lot. Oh, and he suddenly found himself with the power of speech (unfortunately with a small defect which meant he couldn’t pronounce his “r’s”). Welcome to the world, Wobblin’ Wobin.

Wobin starts a new life when a French lady sees him on sale at Chelsea Flower Show and transports him to her apartment in Cannes where he discovers to his dismay his only value to her is as a scarecrow to ward off pigeons who delight in using her terrace as their potty. It is so demeaning for him: he is lonely, far from home in a foreign land where he can’t speak the language. . . but worst of all, being made of metal and attached to a spring, he can’t fly, and that’s a big disability for a bird. Worse still, he has a fear of flying.

And then Dinky and Smelly enter his life. Two neighbourhood turtle-doves, brother and sister, lift him out of his misery by befriending him and, together with encouragement from a matronly blackbird who also takes him under her wing, manage to get him airborne.

  1. Flights of fancy.

Out-of-body adventures shared with the turtle-doves are so delightful, soaring along the coast and visiting these magical places, that he decides to strike out on his own. Rather rashly, he leaves their companionship and lands in a lot of trouble – first in Nice when he wanders off alone and gets into that scrape with the Magpie Mafia; then on the island near Cannes where the monks have a vineyard. He manages to get himself drunk, falls asleep amid the vines, and has to be rescued from a netting trap by one of the brethren. He learns his lesson: adventure is not without risk.

  1. Fight your own corner.

Wobin is fearlessly cocky when putting himself in danger, and toughs it out to earn his stripes the hard way even though the journey comes with a few battle scars. Long before his encounter with the magpies in Nice, his courage is put to the test when his presence on the poop-covered terrace provokes a reaction from the poopers. A gang of six puffed-up pigeons arrive with their enforcer, a herring-gull called Samson who makes a pretty scary enemy with his vicious beak used to tear up rubbish tips and rip open garbage bags in search of food.  However, he may be a bruiser but he is not very bright, and Wobin outwits him spectacularly in a fight.

  1. Don’t be afraid.

The way Wobin overcomes his disabilities and manages to rise to great heights is a great example for children who might be tempted to try new things, new places, but have some trepidation in realising their goal. This story will encourage them to expand their horizons and whet their appetite for learning about the world outside their immediate surroundings. Above all, not to be afraid to travel and discover the pleasures of life in a country other than their own, or be be frightened by “foreign” things. The message I hope to convey is that disabilities can be overcome; everything is possible; you can live your dream.


Author Information

Tony Rocca’s writing career has spanned 30-plus years as a London journalist, notably with the Daily Mail and Sunday Times, during which time he has been a reporter, sub-editor, foreign correspondent and features editor. He has written five books and is widely travelled, having once owned a vineyard in Tuscany that brought him success as an accidental winemaker. He tells the story amusingly in his first book, Catching Fireflies (‘A welcome change in a climate of clichés’ – International Herald Tribune). A second book, Memories of Eden, concerned the Jewish community of Iraq and was equally well received. His first novel, You Send Me, followed. This new book for children, set on the French Riviera where he now lives, is a further example of his versatility as a writer.

Website: http://tonyrocca.com/wobblin-wobin


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