You are here
Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot
published 17 September 2015
pb £7.99 Buy Now from the Firefly BuzzShop
A modern-day fable by an award-winning author
WINNER of the Branford Boase Award 2016
Aubrey is a rambunctious boy who tries to run before he can walk and has crashed two cars before he is old enough to drive one. But when his father, Jim, falls under the horrendous spell of the Terrible Yoot, everything changes. With the help of the creatures of Rushing Wood Aubrey sets out to break the spell. Everyone says his task is impossible, but Aubrey will never give up, even if he must fight the unkillable spirit of despair - The Terrible Yoot - itself!
Funny and fearless, Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot is a modern-day fable that mixes real family life with fantastical woodland creatures and a more than a touch of myth and mystery, to tackle the theme of depression head on, complemented by powerful line drawings by illustrator Jane Matthews.
Praise for Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot
Michael Morpurgo: 'Here is writing and storytelling at its best. Here is a wondrous tale ... that sweeps you along inside its magic, and its hope. At once bubbling with joy, and at the same time dealing with the great sadness that overcomes so many of us in our lives, the Terrible Yoot of the title. A daring book, beautifully conceived, and supremely well written. Horatio Clare has the voice of a great storyteller. As I said, a joy, a sheer joy!'
Frank Cottrell Boyce: 'A treasure ... rambunctious spirit, massive heart, and a poet's eye. It's also really funny.'
Lovereading4kids: This is a special and unusual book. It features some beautiful writing, and conjures up the sights, sounds and smells of the English countryside with such clarity that you’ll feel the damp ground beneath your feet, but it’s also a moving and thoughtful description of a young boy trying to help his father through depression. From his first breath Aubrey is a rambunctious child and his parents are quickly aware of his capacity to cause chaos. Unknown to them however, he has hidden talents - he can talk to animals. When his father, normally so cheerful, is weighed down with a terrible sadness, the wild animals help Aubrey find ways to help, and even advise him on how to tackle the cause itself – the Terrible Yoot. It’s a story full of tenderness and understanding.
We Love This Book: Horatio Clare has written several lyrical and highly enjoyable travel books but this is his first foray into children’s literature and the result is an imaginative and thoughtful adventure. Faced with the confusing and painful fact of his father’s depression, young Aubrey sets off on a journey, at once real and dreamlike, natural and supernatural, to find and defeat the cause of his father’s illness. Aubrey enlists the help of talking animals who help him to understand and hope to defeat the terrible Yoot.
This is the first time I have read a book aimed at children which tackles a subject as complicated and problematic as depression. And it is tackled in a sensitive and imaginative way. Depression is not glossed over nor does Clare provide Aubrey with a magic cure: this is wonderfully refreshing. Yet the story is as lighthearted as it is serious.
The text is littered with footnotes, explaining difficult vocabulary and the ancient Greek gods, myths and animals who populate the tale, providing a gateway to understanding not only mental illness but also to classics and much more. Beautifully illustrated by Jane Matthews, both young and old will enjoy this book.