In his taut debut novel, a fable about how dreams can ennoble life, Rice uses words sparingly to show that even ordinary people can behave heroically to help those they love. He evokes the small town of Lightning Ridge, Australia's opal capital, and its eccentric residents, as the atmospheric background to a story celebrating the need for tolerance of individual idiosyncrasies. Despite bizarre characters like Fat Walt, who owns the "house-made-completely-from-bottles," and Domingo the castle builder, Ashmol Williamson believes that his younger sister, eight-year-old Kellyanne, is an exceptionally peculiar "fruitloop." After all, her best and only friends, Pobby and Dingan, are imaginary. While Kellyanne shares her "lollies" and Violet Crumble chocolate bars with her fantasy friends, the ever skeptic Ashmol makes sure to express his disapproval by "tutting" between gulps of his Mellow Yellow. Yet when Kellyanne's health begins to decline shortly after her miner father "loses" her "fairy-friends" at his opal claim, narrator Ashmol sets out on his "chopper" (a bicycle with cardboard attached to the spokes) to organize a search party. Hoping that his sister will eventually find Pobby and Dingan herself if she sees that other people think (or pretend) they're real, Ashmol pedals from bars to bowling clubs, announcing his purpose and posting signs. The next day, good-natured friends and neighbors set about searching under bushes and around trees, but their attempts prove futile as Kellyanne's health continues to deteriorate. Desperate to save his sister, Ashmol finally realizes that only he can find Pobby and Dingan by believing in their existence. Just as Peter Pan entreats the audience to clap if they believe in fairies, Rice's touching tale asks the reader as well as the citizens of Lightning Ridge to have faith in the invisible. 50,000 first printing; BOMC alternate.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Ashmol Williamson has had enough of his younger sister Kellyanne and her best friends Pobby and Dingan. Only Kellyanne can see the imaginary pair, but much to Ashmol's dismay, many in the small Australian mining town treat Pobby and Dingan as if they were real. Ashmol's dad has established a reputation as the town drunk, and one day, while on a walk with Pobby and Dingan, he loses the two friends, and Kellyanne becomes despondent. Realizing that finding Pobby and Dingan is the only way to bring his sister out of her severe depression and ease the minds of his parents, Ashmol sets out to enlist the people of Lightning Ridge in a search to bring the pair back to Kellyanne. What shines throughout is Ashmol's narrative voice, and his blunt humor shapes this fable into an excellent read for young and old. Rice has carved characters (real and imaginary) that belong alongside Scout and Jem. Michelle Kaske
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Extremely charming book that made think hard about what is real and what is not.Published 3 days ago by Susan Winskill
Pobby and Dingan by Ben Rice is an enchanting tale that reminds all of us what it is like to be a child, so absolutley devoted to our imaginations. Read morePublished 1 month ago by sierrahope123
I Really liked this book. A very enjoyable and fast read. A great little story with a lot of heart.Published 15 months ago by Dee9 H
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This review is from: Pobby and Dingan / Specks in the Sky (Paperback)
Two pleasant enough short stories of around 90 and 50 pages... Read more
Full of themes we all will eventually encounter in life, full of incredible and magical dreams, including the logic that keeps us from dreaming.Published 16 months ago by C. Everett
I picked up Pobby and Dingan having no idea what the book was about but having seen it on an earlier year's NY Times Notable Books list. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Joseph Landes
Another reviewer suggested that this book was about mental illness. That is hardly the case. There were two separate times in the story that suggested Pobby and Dingan were real. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Paul Wetor
This is a gem of a book about a girl who loses her imaginary friends - Pobby and Dingan- told thround the narrator Ashmol Williamson and is set in lightning ridge in outback... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Karl Stroud
"... to believe in something which is hard to see ... to keep looking for something which is totally hard to find. Read morePublished on July 7, 2012 by Mr. Joe