God bless eBay! You can find things you never even knew existed! The Watership Down Film Picture Book is my new favorite eBay find. The book is exactl...moreGod bless eBay! You can find things you never even knew existed! The Watership Down Film Picture Book is my new favorite eBay find. The book is exactly as the title implies: incredibly beautiful stills from the 1978 animated movie "with blocking text by Richard Adams" (author of the heroic fantasy novel of the same name.)
Richard Adams sums up differences between film and novel in the preface:
"A film is not a book. They are two distinct forms of art; and people who, when asked whether they have read a particular book, reply 'No, but I saw the film,' might really just as sensibly answer, 'No, but I had breakfast this morning.'" Truer words were never spoken. As a HUGE Watership Down fan, I have read the book and seen the movie multiple times. Both art forms are wonderful and engrossing. The Watership Down Film Picture Book is not so much a mixture of the two, but really a book with substance enough to stand alone.
Although Richard Adams' words appear in The Watership Down Film Picture Book, they cannot even come close to the enchanting descriptions in his original novel. Watership Down is an epic novel, with a captivating portrayal of a group of rabbits' search for a safe new home. It would have been impossible to put the entire novel into the movie, or into The Watership Down Film Picture Book for that matter. Keeping that in mind, I of course loved this book! Given such a fantastic novel, and such an enchanting movie, how could this picture book be anything less than excellent?!
If you ever have opportunity and can find this book, you should definitely check it out (after of course, reading the original Watership Down and watching the film.) I can see myself taking this book off my shelf and reading it over and over again. I am so happy I found it! (less)
I read Betsy Tobin's Bone House earlier this year and really didn't care for it. Luckily for me I decided to give her another chance - Ice Land was fa...moreI read Betsy Tobin's Bone House earlier this year and really didn't care for it. Luckily for me I decided to give her another chance - Ice Land was fantastic! Tobin's writing is clear with beautiful phrasing. The story alternates seamlessly between Freya (the Norse goddess of love,) and Fulla, a young woman struggling to find her place in a frightening and ever-changing world.
I loved the historical tidbits - especially the information about King Olaf of Norway - and the sprinkling of Norse mythology throughout was delicious! This is just the kind of book that makes me want to go back to the library and check out everything they have on the mythology and history of Iceland.
Ice Land is a superior piece of historical fiction, well-crafted and beautiful. There is something for everyone here: adventure, history, romance, mythology and ideology - all entwined in one novel. Definitely a winner!(less)
The Last Unicorn is one of my all-time favorite childhood movies, but I didn't know until recently that it was based on a wonderful book by Peter S. B...moreThe Last Unicorn is one of my all-time favorite childhood movies, but I didn't know until recently that it was based on a wonderful book by Peter S. Beagle. Full of mythical creatures and magicians, The Last Unicorn is a complex and enchanting fantasy story that wraps the reader up in it's timeless magic.
The novel begins in the lilac wood of the unicorn, as she listens in to two hunters arguing over the existence of unicorns in the world. After realizing that she had not seen another unicorn in some time, she begins to wonder if she may in fact be the last of her kind. Thus begins her epic quest in search of other unicorns.
During her journey she meets an entertaining cast of characters: Mommy Fortuna, owner of the Midnight Carnival; the harpy Celaeno, a great bronze bird with the face of a hag and deadly, rending talons; Schmendrick, a fairly inept magician; Molly Grue, a woman-of-the-woods, living with a band of outlaws; and of course King Haggard and his Red Bull, the captors of all of the unicorns in the world.
The unicorn's quest is as much a voyage of self-discovery as it is a journey to find her people. She must face the truth about herself and her world - whether she wants to or not - and complete her pilgrimage to save the other unicorns. The story of The Last Unicorn is a beautiful tale of love and hope, what makes a hero a hero, and the accomplishment of a "happily ever after."
Peter S. Beagle's writing is brimming with dazzlingly descriptive language, prose and wit. His characters are extremely well-written, adding to the beauty and grace of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book - first sentence to last - I didn't want the adventure to end. Enchanting - captivating - intriguing - nothing goes quite far enough to describe this enduring fairy-tale. Whether you're a fan of classic fantasy, or you just need a bit of magic in your life, you should pick up Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn. You have my personal guarantee - you won't be disappointed.(less)
Neglected by his father after the illness and death of his mother, ridiculed by his teachers, and teased by his classmates, Bastian Balthazar Bux is a...moreNeglected by his father after the illness and death of his mother, ridiculed by his teachers, and teased by his classmates, Bastian Balthazar Bux is a sad little boy. While being chased by some bullies, Bastain ducks into an antique bookstore and happens upon an old man reading a curious book, The Neverending Story. Bastian feels an irresistible pull to the mysterious book and when the man steps away to take a phone call, Bastain takes the book and runs away with it.
Bastian ends up taking the book to school and hiding away in the attic to read it. Upon opening the book Bastian discovers the extraordinary world of Fantastica - a marvelous parallel universe full of all kinds of sensational beings. Fantastica is being slowly destroyed by a mysterious Nothing, and it will take the cleverness and bravery of two little boys to save it from ultimate annihilation.
Written by Michael Ende and originally published in German in 1979, The Neverending Story was translated into English by Ralph Manheim in 1983. Of course, I have seen the original movie hundreds of times - it was one of my favorites growing up - but the book is different enough from the movie to keep the reader interested in the plot twists and extended storyline. The movie covers only the first half of the book, and there is a lot packed in to the last 200 pages!
The Neverending Story is just as breathtaking as I imagined it would be. Despite a few little hiccups that could only be attributed to translation issues, I simply loved the story! The Neverending Story is wonderfully imaginative, full of scrumdiddlyumptious detail, and really, just a beautiful and captivating tale, perfect for fantasy fans of all ages. (less)
C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew, book 1 of the Chronicles of Narnia, gives the reader an enchanting introduction to the magical land of Narnia. In t...moreC.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew, book 1 of the Chronicles of Narnia, gives the reader an enchanting introduction to the magical land of Narnia. In this unforgettable story, British schoolchildren Polly and Digory inadvertently tumble into the Wood Between the Worlds, where they meet the evil Queen Jadis and, ultimately, the great, mysterious King Aslan. We witness the birth of Narnia and discover the legendary source of all the adventures that are to follow in the seven books that comprise the series.
The Magician's Nephew is a compelling read. It is clear from the beginning that the wonderful imagination of C.S. Lewis is what has kept these books alive for all these years. I very much enjoyed reading this classic of children's fantasy literature.(less)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is book 2 in the Chronicles of Narnia.
"Narnia … the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country k...moreThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is book 2 in the Chronicles of Narnia.
"Narnia … the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy … the place where adventure begins. Lucy is the first to find the secret wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first, no one believes her when she tells of her adventures in the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund and then Peter and Susan discover the Magic and meet Aslan, the Great Lion, for themselves. In blink of an eye, their lives are changed forever."
C.S. Lewis' originality of voice insures that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is sure to remain a charming classic for future generations. Lewis fills his books with amazing details and mythic creatures that make me wish I had a wardrobe of my own as a portal to travel to fantastic lands. It was simply a delightful read and I'm glad I picked it up. (less)