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)
Robin McKinley's Beauty is a beautiful and wonderfully written romantic re-telling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast. The youngest and plai...moreRobin McKinley's Beauty is a beautiful and wonderfully written romantic re-telling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast. The youngest and plainest of three daughters, Honour - nicknamed "Beauty" - lives very happily in the city with her loving father and sisters until their fortunes change suddenly and they are forced to sell their grand house and things and move into the country. The family adjusts well to their reduced circumstances, and are happy together in the country.
On his way home from a business trip into the city, Beauty's father becomes hopelessly lost in an enchanted forest. Out of his mind with fatigue and cold, he happens upon a magical castle at the center of the wood. In stopping to rest, Beauty's father unknowingly will change the course of the lives of all of his family.
In case you are unfamiliar with the classic tale, I will not spoil it for you here with further details. One thing you should know is that despite being packaged and targeted toward a YA audience recently, you will be missing out on something really special if you dismiss it as a "kid's" book. Beauty is a rich re-telling with vivid details and captivating characters.
McKinley's writing is incredible, with an astounding depth that the classic tale doesn't have. The characters are animated and brilliantly defined, becoming dynamic and realistic for the reader. Beauty is a fantastic heroine - full of strength, intelligence and bravery. Though she doesn't see herself as beautiful, the Beast certainly does. He is an amazingly sympathetic character, with profound insight into character and integrity.
In Beauty, Robin McKinley paints the reader into the marvelous world of fairy tale and myth. Her descriptions - which a few reviewers refer to as "too much" - were delicious to me, making the overall story all the more enjoyable for me. The atmosphere she created left me spellbound and wanting more!
I initially chose to read Beauty - as part of the Take a Chance Challenge - because it was first published in 1978, the year I was born. Since I have previously read McKinley's Sunshine and found it somewhat lacking, I'm not sure I would have picked up Beauty had I not needed to read a book published in 1978. Fortunately, Beauty more than met my expectations. It is an enchanting story, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the fantasy of fairy tales.(less)
The Incredible Journey is the captivating story of three family pets and their dangerous journey home through the Canadian wilderness. This was really...moreThe Incredible Journey is the captivating story of three family pets and their dangerous journey home through the Canadian wilderness. This was really an emotional story for me. I am a born animal lover, and the trials that this intrepid trio suffered, along with their intense bravery and devotion to their owners, brought tears to my eyes more than once.
The Incredible Journey is a wonderfully entertaining story of love, loyalty, and perseverance. Full of adventure and excitement, it was an excellent choice for me. (less)
In Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, all manner of disasters happen to a group of the most obnoxious children you've ever met. This clas...moreIn Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, all manner of disasters happen to a group of the most obnoxious children you've ever met. This classic of children's literature is full of magic and the kind wonderfully imaginative storytelling that makes for a great tale.
From the scrumdiddlyumptious candy factory, to the magical Oompa Loompas, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is an enchanting thrill ride that makes me wish I was a kid again.(less)
From Amazon.com: Mary Poppins tells the story of the world's most beloved nanny, "who brings enchantment and excitement with her everywhere she goes....moreFrom Amazon.com: Mary Poppins tells the story of the world's most beloved nanny, "who brings enchantment and excitement with her everywhere she goes. From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed.
The story of Mary Poppins is delightful and magical, imaginative and bewitching - a true classic of children's literature! P.L. Travers is a fantastically witty storyteller, and has written an adventurous story for children of all ages. Mary Poppins is light hearted and fun to read. (less)
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting is the imaginative and humorous first novel in the Voyages of Doctor Dolittle series. Thanks to his intel...moreThe Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting is the imaginative and humorous first novel in the Voyages of Doctor Dolittle series. Thanks to his intelligent parrot Polynesia, Doctor Dolittle learns how to talk to animals. Because he has these unique skills, he becomes an animal doctor, and along the way helps countless animals.
Although a very simple story, written in a simple way - the way children would understand - The Story of Doctor Dolittle was excellent. Full of adventure and humor, you will not be able to put this book down. The characters, especially the animals, come to vivid life, and practically leap of the page to trot, swing, or pad through your living room! The Story of Doctor Dolittle is good for the young, and the young-at-heart. (less)
First published in 1813 in three volumes, Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice is the story of the Bennet Family, and the intricacies of Regency...moreFirst published in 1813 in three volumes, Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice is the story of the Bennet Family, and the intricacies of Regency period marriage customs. The central storyline revolves around the five young Bennett sisters, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia. The sisters range from their mid-teens to early twenties, making them of good marriageable age (at least where their mother is concerned.)
Pride and Prejudice gives the reader a wealth of well developed characters. All are entertaining, and the situations Austen presents to them give an uproariously revealing look into Regency society and morality. Elizabeth Bennet is a lively heroine, and a truly an independent woman with strong opinions for her time. Her parents are perfect foils of each other, inducing many a giggle from the intrepid reader. Pompous Mr. Collins, boy-crazy Lydia Bennet, the snark-tastic sisters of Mr. Bingley, and all others of the "supporting cast", are well-developed, with easy to understand motives.
Pride and Prejudice is a fresh and witty romantic comedy/drama. The language is extremely engaging, and the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy captivating. The attention to detail and social commentary are well-written and delightfully entertaining. The subtleties of character development and plot construction are natural and poignant, focusing on dialog and feeling rather than action and suspense.
Not only did I absolutely adore the story of Pride and Prejudice, I also enjoyed the way Austen's writing made 19th-century England leap off every page, bringing the entire story to vibrant life. Pride and Prejudice is extremely fun to read, and a masterpiece of romance literature. It is charming and imaginative, and I'm sure it will remain a classic in years to come.(less)
Pierre Boulle's Planet of the Apes is a fine piece of satirical science fiction. Originally published in French, it seems to be lacking nothing in tra...morePierre Boulle's Planet of the Apes is a fine piece of satirical science fiction. Originally published in French, it seems to be lacking nothing in translation and is easily one of the most shocking novels that I have had the pleasure of reading this year. I've loved the original movie from 1968 for many years, and am pleased to report that the spirit of the novel was kept largely intact. However, I will say that as is the case in most novel to big screen adaptations, read the book - the book is better than any of the movies.
Planet of the Apes is one of those novels that makes me wish I hadn't seen the movie first - I can't even imagine how I would feel about the story had I not had prior knowledge of the wheres and whyfors. Pierre Boulle's writing is brilliant and mercilessly cunning in its transparent attempt to expose the reader to an inventive morality play. Told in a succinct and piquant voice, Pierre Boulle's Planet of the Apes is a novel not to be missed. (less)
Fred Gipson's Old Yeller - another classic I missed when I was a child. Travis is a boy on the verge of manhood in 1800's Texas, when Old Yeller enter...moreFred Gipson's Old Yeller - another classic I missed when I was a child. Travis is a boy on the verge of manhood in 1800's Texas, when Old Yeller enters his life. Although Travis doesn't see the dog's worth right away, he eventually grows to love Yeller. When the story came to it's inevitable tragic end, it had me crying like a baby.
The story of Old Yeller is touching, and the love and loyalty that the characters have for each other, will stay with you long after you've put the book down. It's easy to see why this book has endured through the years to become a perennial children's classic. (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)
"The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to get sharper."
- from The Phantom Tollbooth
The Phantom Tollbooth is a true or...more"The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to get sharper."
- from The Phantom Tollbooth
The Phantom Tollbooth is a true original - a classic of children's literature. Milo is bored... by everything. After receiving a tollbooth one day, Milo goes through it and is magically transported to another world. In this alternate world, he meets all sort of curious creatures, from a giant watchdog (literally, a dog whose body is a watch) to a humbug the size of a person.
Norman Juster juggles words as if they were tangible objects, continually taking the reader off balance by turning ordinary events into enchanted occurrences. The Phantom Tollbooth is an epic adventure filled with strange characters and odd places. It is creative and witty, and the play on words is imaginative and clever. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this amusing book.(less)
"The Secret of Nimh" is one of my all-time favorite movies, but somehow I've never read Robert C. O'Brien's Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. The stor...more"The Secret of Nimh" is one of my all-time favorite movies, but somehow I've never read Robert C. O'Brien's Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. The story is about a widowed mouse, Mrs. Frisby, living with her four children. When she finds that their home is about to be plowed under by a farmer, she enlists the help of the mysterious rats living under the rosebush.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh taught me an important lesson: you're never too old for a god story. The entire book is simply wonderful, with highly imaginative suspense and intrigue. The adventures of Mrs. Frisby and friends was mesmerizing, and had me glued to the book from beginning to end. (less)