Friday, September 12, 2008

The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Complete First Serial

The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Complete First Serial
By Tony DiTerlizzi (Author's Website)
and Holly Black (Author's Website)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Published on Nov 6 2007
ISBN-13: 978-1-4169-5821-5
672 pages

Five captivating books! One thrilling adventure! It all started with a mysterious letter left at a tiny bookstore for authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. Its closing lines: "We just want people to know about this. The stuff that has happened to us could happen to anyone." Little could they imagine the remarkable adventure that awaited them as they followed Jared, Simon, and Mallory Grace and a strange old book into a world filled with elves, goblins, dwarves, trolls, and a fantastical menagerie of other creatures. The oddest part is that in entering that world, they didn't leave this one! - Synopsis found in the back cover

I had loads of fun reading The Spiderwick Chronicles in bed while nursing my allergy. No doubt this is a book for children, adult readers will enjoy it too. The thick book comprises all five books in the series: The Field Guide, The Seeing Stone, Lucinda's Secret, The Ironwood Tree, and The Wrath of Mulgarath. In those pages is a beautifully illustrated fantasy world of magical creatures such as brownies, goblins, ogres, dwarves, elves and many more. It's quite a page-turner too.

In The Field Guide (Book 1), the Grace children - Mallory, Jared and Simon, go to stay at their great-aunt Lucinda's worn Victorian house. Jared and Simon are twins aged nine. Mallory is their 13-year-old sister. Their parents have just gone through a divorce and together with their mother, they have to start life anew in another place. At the old house, Jared discovers a field guide to fairies and other creatures. The siblings first unusual experiences begin with a browny named Thimbletack.

In The Seeing Stone (Book 2), Simon is being kidnapped by the goblins. Mallory and Jared set out to rescue him. To do so, they would need to use a magical stone that enables them to see the invisible magical creatures. In this instalment, Simon the animal lover finds himself an extraordinary new pet.

In Lucinda's Secret (Book 3), things get out of control. The goblins, trolls and the house boggart start giving them trouble, so they turn to their supposedly mad Great-Aunt Lucinda for help. She is the daughter of the missing Arthur Spiderwick, author of the field guide.

In The Ironwood Tree (Book 4), Mallory is kidnapped after a fencing competition at school. Jared and Simon begin their search for her in an old quarry where the dwarves dwell and in exchange for their sister, the dwarves want the field guide. But the problem is the twins don't have it so what are they to do? In this instalment, Mallory is being turned into Sleeping Beauty.

In The Wrath of Mulgarath (Book 5 and final), their problem intensified and become even more dangerous as the powerful ogre named Mulgarath and his hordes of goblins capture the children's mother. The siblings had wanted to warn their mother of the danger they're in but are too late.

The Spiderwick Chronicles is a wonderful story of courage and love. It sets good example for children and instills good family values. I have also enjoyed the beautiful drawings by DiTerlizzi. A great quick and easy read!