Strange things are afoot in town; huge holes are appearing everywhere and something has to be done. Meanwhile life goes on as normal for Ben Pole, trying to avoid the ghastly Monty Crabbe and his gang. On the run after school his escape route down a blind alley leads to one of these holes and at the other end a strange world. This world id presided over by King Coo and her pet wombat.
King Coo lives in a tree house wears nothing but a crown and a beard (yes a full length flowing, golden beard that completely covers her modesty). From this vantage point she and Ben defend themselves against Monty Crabbe and his gang with Cow-pat-a-pults, Slug Pulp and a Springy-Flingy-Thing.
This is a classic romp: bullied boy meets strange new friend and conquers his persecutors in the most convoluted and funny way possible. None of it is ground breaking, apart from the wombat, but it will entertain and amuse its readers.
The format is a good mixture of text and black and white illustrations, including drawings of the clever plans King Coo come up with. At a vital point when Buster Crabbe enlists Ted Dedleigh the pest control man to capture the wombat and win a the bajillion pound reward, the whole text turns into a cartoon strip format. That really adds interest to what could have been quite a simple piece of conversation and turns it into a dark and dastardly episode.
The text is fun and moves along but the illustrations make the narrative.