When things are a bit tough, some Pratchett can really lighten life up, but I didn't just want to burn through my remaining supply of Discworld novels. Then I saw this on the shelf (bought for the kids), and thought "aha!".
As I think I said elsewhere, my first Pratchett was Pyramids, so I came across the "for kids" books a bit later, but I must have first read this most of thirty years ago, back when they had the crazy Josh Kirby covers (which I initially found off-putting). I don't think I ever read Diggers or Wings, though!
Unsurprisingly, it's a short and easy read. The subjects covered are anything but, with sexism, religion and belief, death, the nature of knowledge, leadership and how people cope with change all thrown in there. And they're all splattered around the edge of an enjoyable story.
I have genuinely no idea how many of the above themes are expected to be actually recognised by the average child reader, and how many are just hoped to surreptitiously work their way into the brain and make them more thoughtful without realising it. :) I'm kind of surprised that people got so upset about Philip Pullman when there are subversive books like this going around. :p
Anyway, it's an enjoyable book, and stands alone pretty well, as well as the first entry in a trilogy. Now I get to read Diggers for the first time!