Tabitha Plimtock and the Edge of the World

Tabitha Plimtock and the Edge of the World

Written by Erika McGann, Illustrated by Phillip Cullen

Tabitha Plimtock lives in a house at the very edge of the world. When rumours begin to circulate of monsters climbing from the base to gobble up unsuspecting wall-dwellers, Tabitha is determined to discover what's happening and keep the people she loves safe!

White Ravens 2022

White Ravens 2022 - 2022

International Youth Library - Winner

Paperback: €9.99
Paperback: 272 pages
Size:196x130 mm
ISBN: 9781788492492

E-Book (ePub): €5.99
Also available as an E-Book (ePub)
ISBN: 9781788493000

Tabitha Plimtock lives in a house at the very edge of the world. She is a go-getter – that is, a dogsbody forced to go and get things – for her nasty relatives, Gower, Gristle, Bertha and Cousin Wilbur.

One of Tabitha’s endless chores involves descending the cliff face, via a net that hangs from the back of the house, to collect eggs, nuts and other things from the inhabitants of the wall. When rumours begin to circulate of monsters climbing from the base to gobble up unsuspecting wall-dwellers, Tabitha is worried for all her friends.

Determined to save them, Tabitha seeks out the elusive and eccentric Dr Sherback. The doctor introduces her to a whole new world at the base – one that is dark, dangerous and absolutely thrilling – but not even Dr Sherback’s vast knowledge can slow the terrible creatures climbing to the top of the wall.

With a clever plan, and not a small amount of courage, can Tabitha stop the monsters and keeps the people she loves safe for good?

Erika McGann

Erika McGann grew up in Drogheda, County Louth, and now lives in Dublin. She is the author of The Demon Notebook, winner of the Waverton Good Read Children’s Award, The Broken Spell, The Watching Wood and The Midnight Carnival, the ‘Cass and the Bubble Street Gang’ series, and four picture books, Where Are You, Puffling?, Puffling and the Egg (which was nominated for an Irish Book Award) and Wee Donkey’s Treasure Hunt, all illustrated by Gerry Daly, and The Night-time Cat and the Plump, Grey Mouse, illustrated by Lauren O’Neill. Erika’s most recent book is Tabitha Plimtock and the Edge of the World

Phillip Cullen

Phillip Cullen grew up in Dublin and studied classical animation at Ballyfermot College. He loves to draw cute, weird and wonderful creatures. After a period living in Japan, he now lives in Dublin with his wife.

a captivating adventure story with an important message — our world is magnificent but it is delicate … This splendid tale is full of adventure and delight and is a friendly reminder to its young readers that with great bravery and determination, one small person can make a big difference. A charming book with an important message

Irish Examiner

Strong world building, clever, confident writing and oodles of imagination make this a must read

Sarah Webb

Sometimes a book comes along that allows your imagination to run wild

Book-Bound Blog

a brilliant character who follows her heart with intelligence, boldness and curiosity. Tabitha is charming and indomitable. Each of the other characters is carefully knitted into the story giving a real sense of who they are and how they fit in Tabithas’ world, so we are never confusing one for the other; or weighed-down by extraneous information. The back-stories of all the characters must be as unusual as what we see, but it is left to the reader to build the characters histories. And this adds additional intrigue to the tale. Narrated in a casual style that speaks directly to the reader, we are given intricate descriptions of place and action that bring it all to life without breaking the perfect pace. It is relaxed, fluid and endlessly appealing, keeping the reader on their toes while lulling us into a false sense of security. We may think we know what’s coming next, but….Throughout, we get what we need, when we need it and with great surprise. The book has quite a Pratchett-esque style, weaving outlandish characters, thrilling action, bizarre twists and turns with effortless humour and poignant impact of the message behind the story. The illustrations lend so much to the telling of the tale; gorgeously detailed black and white drawings that harbour clues to the journey or remind us of details that may have escaped previous notice. The expressions; the landscapes! And just look at that cover….outstandingly wondrous! Incredibly well-written with a cast of brilliant characters; gently humourous, yet thoughtful, bold and captivating; full of spirit and wonder; what a wonderful book! Simply fantastic!

Fallen Star Stories

In scenes reminiscent of The Magic Faraway Tree, Tabitha climbs with the agility of a mountain goat from ledge to precarious ledge as she visits the weird and not-always wonderful dwellers on the cliff wall that forms the edge of the world… If this novel itself serves as an eco-warning of the dangers of abusing the Earth, it is also an action-packed adventure with a teak-tough young female hero. Sending out positive messages about girls’ bravery, physical stamina, and capabilities as scientists, Tabitha reminds all young readers that however small and insignificant they may feel, their actions can make a big difference to the world. McGann, author of picture books Where Are You Puffling? and Wee Donkey’s Treasure Hunt, finds her voice for a pre-teen readership as the chatty narrator of a story that has everything. Packed with fantastic beasts, the surrealism of The Edge Chronicles meets James and the Giant Peach here as Tabitha’s really rotten adoptive family rivals Roald Dahl’s Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker for gratuitous nastiness

Evening Echo

a romping adventure with an important message about climate change and how interlinked species are. The strong female STEM characters are a delight. Despite the serious subject matter, the novel is a humorous read, ranging from clever word play to fart jokes. In several places, the narrator addresses the reader directly, leading to the story feeling like a conversation. Although currently a standalone title, I’d be more than happy to spend time with Tabitha on another adventure

The School Librarian Magazine (UK)

one of the most beautiful and magical children's books of recent years


two fabulous fables for young readers...Tabitha Plimtock, a six-year-old girl from the Edge of the World, will stay with young readers for a long time … it’s a great read for children aged ten years and older. Tabitha lives in a house atop The Wall, at the Edge of the World. She sleeps in the bath and likens the snoring of her unusual family to being on a very bumpy nightly train ride. Bertha Plimtock is by far the oldest, no one knows how old exactly, perhaps 200 and something. Today is her birthday, and because it is today everyday, everyday is her birthday. Her cousin Wilbur becomes an animal when the wind blows from west to east. (I know that feeling!) Tabitha climbs down the wall daily to get eggs from Mr Offal, milk from Richard and Molly, herbs and nuts from the wailing twins... and then there is Mr Cratchley. “That’s my jar of lost love... The people of the world are so very lucky, but they don’t know it. They have so much love in their lives that they sometimes let it go. They give it away or forget it, and it falls away from them and gets caught on the wind.

Mayo News

following in the footsteps of other fearless heroines goes Tabitha Plimtock … high adventure ensues … crisp, ink drawings peppered throughout and the text is double spaced presenting great clarity for less able readers … its addition to a school library would be worthwhile … I enjoyed reading about Tabitha and I’m sure children will equally connect with her and her bravery

InTouch Magazine

We all know the world is round and has no edge, don’t we? But perhaps we just didn’t know where to look. Circle the globe enough times and you will find the house of the Plimtock family, teetering on the brink of an enormous cliff face at the very edge of the world. Our resilient heroine, Tabitha, lives with a family of Dahlesque grotesques.  Meet foul Aunt Bertha, of unknown but enormous age, thinks every day is her birthday and spends her time festering on her stinking beanbag demanding birthday cake. Cousin Wilbur turns into a different (but equally bad tempered) animal each time the wind changes and Gower and Gristle are no better.  Poor Tabitha, the family go-getter (the one who goes and gets things…) must scale the cliff face to gather food and supplies for her ungrateful family. On her journeys down the cliff face Tabitha finds warmth and friendship with the eccentric characters who live in the wall pockets. Her absolute favourite is Mr Cratchley, who lives below the sunline in a cave of wonders, the most treasured is a jar full of glimmers of lost love blown in on the wind. However, the equilibrium of life at the edge of the world is under threat as rumours abound that the ‘whatever-they-ares’ lurking at the bottom of the cliff are beginning to climb upwards. Tabitha and the indominable Dr Sherback must find a way to restore harmony. McGann creates a richly imaginative world which becomes increasingly strange and wonderous the further you descend below the sunline. This world is brought vividly to life in the illustrations, with the fantastical creatures being a particular delight.  We share Tabitha’s awe as she explores the base of the wall, and she remains curious and inquisitive even about the terrifying parts! This love and respect for nature combined with her determination to restore the balance of her environment conveys a gentle environmental message. There is something of Cressida Cowell in the fizz and wit of the narrative voice guiding us through the story. I loved the inventive playing with language, particularly in the spectacular insults that the characters hurl at each other such as ‘malodorous pimple’ or ‘floundering glutfish’.  The wry asides and humourous digressions keep the tone bright and sprightly throughout.

Armadillo Magazine

Tabitha is kind, brave and clever, but her family only see her as their Cinderella-like servant. Every day she has to climb down the cliff face of the ‘Edge of the World’ and barter for food with her friends who live in ‘wall pockets’ in the cliffs. But her community’s way of life is under threat from strange creatures who live at the bottom of the cliff — and it’s up to Tabitha to save everyone, with the help of an eccentric doctor. Written with confidence and huge imagination, with some terrific world-building and lively, detailed illustrations, this Irish fantasy is a real winner

Irish Independent

Tabitha Plimtock is terribly mistreated by her horrid relatives. Determined and passionate, she manages to view her home at the edge of the world with interest and admiration. Dutifully climbing up and down the edge each day, Tabitha learns about the detrimental effects of global warming and the imminent rise of people-eating monsters. A kindred spirit, Dr Wendy Sherbeck, shows Tabitha how to use her inherent curiosity to save the world. Captivating illustrations bring Tabitha’s quirky world closer to the edge of imagination’s grip.

CBI Deliver the Joy of Reading

outlandish characters, thrilling action, bizarre twists and turns and a poignant message … a fantastic read

Sunday Independent

a truly amazing story, with a heroine that deserves all of the support that we can give her. The environment that the author has created is very bleak, but she leaves us with the thought that if we don’t look after our world, then things will inevitably get even worse.  Given the situation that we all find ourselves in at the moment this seems a very opportune lesson to be learnt. The author is Irish and has won a number of awards, but she definitely deserves to be better known on this side of the Irish Sea. In this book she has taken fantasy to an extreme, but it works beautifully and makes you want to read more about the inhabitants of this amazing place.  It is a funny and exciting read for those in KS2

Books for Keeps

just amazing!!!! Great characters, a thrilling plot, great dollops of friendship, courage, heart & humour. On my list of the best books of the year!

Fallen Star Stories

Erika McGann returns with another page-turning adventure filled with humour and heart. McGann’s colourful and peculiar (edge of the) world could be compared to Roald Dahl with its absurd characters, enticing mysteries, and gripping curiosity

Books Ireland

McGann’s output is undoubtedly a delight … a sharply told, innovative story with astounding illustrations by Cullen – this story will appeal perfectly to fans of Chris Riddell and Harriet Muncaster. Anyone who’s hoping to encourage reading in their younger children will be happy to hear that McGann comes with a back catalogue for them to discover, and never disappoints!

Munster Express

beautifully illustrated by Philip Cullen and tells the tale of a young woman who is willing to do what it takes to keep the people she loves safe

Belfast Telegraph

Full of spirit and wonder!

Fallen Star Stories

I loved this book and so will you - junior reviewer Caoimhe from Castletownroche

Evening Echo

‘reminiscent of Roald Dahl … an entertaining read imbued with an underlying message about the importance of caring for our environment’

International Youth Library' White Ravens 2022

Teaching Resources: free to view and download

Audio available: listen to some of this book now ...

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Also by Erika McGann:

Cass and the Bubble Street Gang series
The Demon Notebook
The Broken Spell
The Watching Wood
The Midnight Carnival
The Clubhouse Mystery

Go to author page...

Also by Phillip Cullen:

The Strange Tale of Barnabus Kwerk
Fairy Hill
Safe Harbour
Millie and the Magical Moon

Go to author page...

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