[2012-06-19] Yay! My book arrived today :-) It's a glorious old-fashioned hardback, with dust jacket over a red cover with gold lettering. How absolut[2012-06-19] Yay! My book arrived today :-) It's a glorious old-fashioned hardback, with dust jacket over a red cover with gold lettering. How absolutely perfect :-D It'll be a little while before I can read it...I'm rather backed up on reviews! Thank you Walden Pond for sending me this book.
[2012-07-07] I am so glad I won this book! I thought the cover looked fun in the thumbnail. As you see above, it was even better in real life - and things got even better when I opened the book. The quality, weight and colour of the paper is just right: it reminds me of the children's books I read as a child, the ones that felt precious.
The persona of the storyteller is held consistently throughout the book...I particularly liked his comment "I probably should have said 'spoiler alert' just then". The humour throughout is exquisite; I'm not sure if the children will get it all, but it will keep the parents amused...and no, none of it is in the least 'inappropriate'. Things like "...the knights donned their armour, rangers grabbed their bows, and the swashbucklers buckled their swashes..." will have readers of all ages giggling in appreciation. Throughout, all the rules of fairy tales were observed; some were slightly bent, but always with explanation that the bards got it wrong! Haha! Christopher Healy's descriptions are fantastic...I could really see each of the characters and the way they moved and could hear them speak. I knew exactly how Prince Liam would toss his hair and how Gustav looked when he crossed his arms and looked at Frederic. And the trolls! The trolls were wonderful. The silliness hit all the rght notes, at exactly the right points in the story.
The illustrations also deserve a big mention...they are lovely and they are perfect. Every character, creature and place looked just like I imagined it, which is to say, just like Christopher Healy described it. Their placement amongst the text worked really well, both from a layout and a timing point of view.
Huge congratulations to all involved in producing this book. It is one of those perfect books and it deserves to be a hit; a quiet, unexpected hit that sneaks up on the public and surprises them and suddenly it is in every child's book bag!
If there is a small (or not so small) child in your life and you're unsure what to get them for birthday or Christmas, then get them this book. They will thank you for it :-) and so will their parents.
Thanks again to the algorithm that chose me to win this book - and thanks to Walden Pond for sending it. Most of all thanks to Christopher Healy for writing it.
[I hate gushing reviews, don't you? Trouble is, I couldn't find one thing to niggle about with this book. Maybe that it's not a series?? There wasn't a bookmark included?? Rapunzel was a spare bit part?? Nah. None of those things matter. It really is a Good Read!]...more
[2012-04-12] My book has arrived :o) Thank you Mozchops for choosing me to win one of your books on First Reads.
[21012-04-12 1900] Thought I'd have a[2012-04-12] My book has arrived :o) Thank you Mozchops for choosing me to win one of your books on First Reads.
[21012-04-12 1900] Thought I'd have a quick look - read the whole book! The artwork is amazing; beautifully detailed and excellently imagined and executed. Close enough to real life to be recognisable, different enough to be magical. The story is simple in outline, but amazingly detailed and complex in execution - just like life.
A definite "must read" for all ages.
I am so pleased I won this book, it's not something I would normally pick-up - now I know what I've been missing!
[2012-07-30] After an appalling delay... my ...more
I liked the technique of telling the story from lots of people's bviewpoints, through their interviews. We nev er actually heard from the Witch of PorI liked the technique of telling the story from lots of people's bviewpoints, through their interviews. We nev er actually heard from the Witch of Portobello herself, but learnt about her through these interviews.