Title: The Gammage Cup
Author: Carol Kendall
Major Themes: Fantasy, Swords, Character Study
Synopsis: When four Minnipins begin to go against tradition, and are thrown out of town, will they still be able to save their village from the invading Mushrooms?
A hilarious fantasy, The Gammage Cup is an entertaining and absorbing story. I was first introduced to the book in my school curriculum—and loved it almost immediately. It works well as a fun break from other heavier-going books, or enjoyed as a stand-alone.
Through the adventures and misadventures of Muggles, Curley Green, Walter the Earl, Gummy, and Mingy, we learn about how their great leader Gammage lead the first few settlers into the Land Between the Mountains. With enemy Mushrooms chasing them, the people were very pleased to discover a fertile valley to settle in as they drove off the Mushrooms.
Eventually, the civilization of the Minnipins was established, and things took on a more regular order. Everyone wore the same cress-green cloaks, every door was painted green, every house in every village looked exactly the same—until Curley Green, Gummy, and Walter the Earl decided to go against tradition, that is. Infuriated, the Periods—rulers—of the village decided to throw all five so-called troublemakers out of town. They didn’t realize that in doing so, they were actually spelling their doom. As the Mushrooms began marching into the once-secure countryside, will the inhabitants of Slipper-on-the-Water be able to fend them off before they lose their homes? Will they even believe that the Mushrooms have actually come back?
While undoubtedly a fantasy, The Gammage Cup is a hilarious, beautifully told story about many different characters. The main theme revolves around the fact that who we are inside is much, much more important than what we look like outside. This story isn’t at all believable, and if you don’t like fantasy and glowing swords then you won’t like this. However, if you do like fantasy, a light read, or simply some entertainment, The Gammage Cup is a great choice.
WARNING: There is some fighting in the story, but the pain/violence is pretty mild. Not great for children under seven-ish, but okay for everyone older.
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above