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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  5,372 Ratings  ·  582 Reviews
"A perfect reminder to always be on the lookout for magic and wonder. Sometimes, we need those two things the most" (, citing "Books That Teach Kids What It Means to Be a Kind Person").

In this breathtaking jacketed picture book, Neil Gaiman's lyrical poem guides a novice traveler through the enchanted woods of a fairy tale—through lush gardens, a formidable cas
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by HarperCollins (first published 2010)
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Jeremi Finn These are instructions for living a good life. They may be more geared towards folks living in a fairy tale, so they are really useful to almost…moreThese are instructions for living a good life. They may be more geared towards folks living in a fairy tale, so they are really useful to almost everyone.(less)

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(showing 1-30)
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Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Gaiman and Vess...what more needs to be said?
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reading Instructions is akin to being in a hypnotic state. Its first couple of pages suggest that you "Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before. Say 'please' before you open the latch. Go through..." The preceding pithy commands instigate the hypnogenesis; they are the first of many that make up the short poem that flows through this new picture book, the latest collaboration between Coraline author Neil Gaiman and The Book of Ballads and Sagas illustrator Charles Vess.

In Instructi
Oh, dear. Perhaps I just wasn't in the right mood for this particular "journey" today as I don't seem to have loved this as much as most other reviewers... I really did appreciate many aspects of it, and some of the "instructions" are just wonderful (I especially liked the return part of the journey, with all the trust) but some felt a bit awkward or unexplained, especially in the context of the greater journey, and I guess I just wanted a bit more overall. The narrative is not really enough of ...more
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
5 / 5

Un maravilloso cuento sobre cómo adentrarte en las historias y salir con vida. Ilustraciones hermosas y una narración poética. Increíble.

Lisa Vegan
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all ages/stages; those who like philosophical picture books & are familiar with fairy tales
This might be my favorite Gaiman book, so far. I always want to love his work more than I do. I don’t know that I adored this, but I really appreciate it. The story is a set of simple instructions, about one per page, about how to live life, and it’s amusing because it uses how to survive a trip through fairy tales as its examples. Most of the time I was thinking How clever! although at times I noticed myself arguing with the philosophy presented, but I appreciated what was being attempted and I ...more
Esperaba algo mas parecido a Fortunately, The Milk, cómico y tierno, se quedo en tierno.... Igual soy incondicional de Gaiman y trato de leer todo, los dibujos son muy lindos y coloridos.
Leyendo otras reseñas debo confesar que seguro de niña no leí los mismos cuentos que Gaiman y los anglosajones y tal vez por eso no capté el mensaje.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is "Neil's Guide To Life". And it was illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Charles Vess.
Ernesto Alvarado
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great illustrations. Great book for young readers.
Apr 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
One of the things that makes Neil Gaiman a relatively unique – and popular – writer is his subtle incorporation of mythological and fairy tale motifs in his fiction. One of my favourite stories in this respect is Instructions, a piece that appeared before in short story collections like M Is for Magic and Fragile Things. It’s great news then, that this little tale has now been published separately with wonderful illustrations by Charles Vess, who’s worked with Gaiman before on works like Stardus ...more
Jan Rice
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just got this and read it for the first time in 10 minutes. I wanted it for the fairy-tale pictures and the how-to prose-poem. Many of the prior reviews say that it's about what to do if one happens to find oneself in a fairy tale, but for me it's just about what to do, period.

Incorporates bits and pieces you will recognize from various traditions and tales, some general and some more idiosyncratic--the latter hinting this could be do-it-yourself advice as well as received wisdom.

It was a birth
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
2/7/18 - ON SALE for $2.68:

Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

I have a confession to make . . . I don’t have much use for Neil Gaiman as far as full-length novels go. I KNOW. *dons sackcloth* *mortifies flesh*

I gave him a more than fair shot, but Neverwhere and The Graveyard Book both bored me to tears, I didn’t make it more than a few chapters into American Gods , and Stardust has the dubious honor of being the only movie that was actually better than the book.


Give him a
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me crucé con esta maravilla en el medio de otros libros, mientras hacía tiempo, en una librería.
No pude contenerme y me lo leí completo. Las ilustraciones cálidas, las palabras justas y la poesía lo envuelven todo.
I'm still trying to figure this one out....

I get that it's Gaiman's answer to Dr. Seuss's Oh! The Places You'll Go. I get that it's saying, "The lessons we learn from fairy tales can help us throughout life." I get that it's full of allusions to fairy tales all through it. But what I'm not getting is ALL of the allusions.

Example: I get the reference to two sisters, one that speaks diamonds and one that speaks toads and frogs. I know that story. But why does Gaiman tell our hero not to trust the
Dec 01, 2014 added it
Shelves: childrens-ya, fantasy
Beautifully written poem. It's an interesting construct, a series of commands and recommendations, which tell the story of a Journey, the point of which we never do discover. It's open ended, which is great for the imagination and there's a lot going on in the illustrations which are vibrant and beautiful.
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
A picture book kinda for adults, though I would give it to school age kids who love fairy tales/myths or are rather serious children. Love all the fairy tale, folk tale, mythology allusions.

Not a fan of the illustrations - too drab. Though I liked that the illustration of princesses featured one p(rincess)oc.
Kirsty Cabot
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
More wonderful weirdness from Gaiman. This time a pleasant and light kind of weirdness, opposed to dark and unpleasant weirdness! Great illustrations, and just beautifully odd. I really enjoyed it.

A great, very short read.
Bernard Schaffer
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Exquisite and perfect. Gaiman is at the top of his game and Charles Vess's artwork is so good I want him to come over my house and paint fairies and sprites all over my walls. Those two are a winning combination that never fails.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So heartwarming and sweet. Loved this short story.
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture book. Could be for young and old because you will take from the words and gorgeous illustrations that which has meaning for you.
Ana Rînceanu
Perfect for bedtime!
Belle Sabattin
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Siempre quise tener este libro! Y al fin lo tengo en mis manos y es tan tan lindo.

Soy fan de Neil Gaiman, así que esa fue la principal razón para tenerlo y que este poema me encanta, me produce una rara sensación de melancolía cada vez que lo leo... como si hubiera perdido algo o me hubiese quedado atascada en alguna parte del poema, pero no sé exactamente en cual.

No le puse las 5 estrellas porque algunas traducciones no me gustaron mucho, pero los dibujos y toda lo demás de la edición esta prec
Claudia Piña
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Me gusta la gentileza que se transmite en la historia, donde un viaje no solo es aventura sino también ayudar, conocer y aprender.

El tío Charles no necesita que alabe sus ilustraciones, así que solo basta decir que las ilustraciones son de él.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this book. Pay close attention to what you see and feel. Heed the instructions carefully. Don't read it alone. When you're done be proud.

You'll understand later.
Mar 21, 2017 added it
Though I do enjoy Vess's artwork, I think I like this poem better un-illustrated, using my own imagination and knowledge of a range of fairy tales & their tropes, to make the pictures for it in my own mind. But getting this poem out to readers is key, so I'm glad this book is making it more widely available. And I'm very glad it's not a big expensive picture-book, but a smaller, more affordable and accessible format.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Relatively slight piece by Gaiman riffing on many tropes of fairy tale quests, with beautiful illustrations by Charles Vess, adding anthropomorphic animals. Lovely to look at, some nicely economical phraseology from Gaiman.
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, poetry, juvenile
Neil Gaiman's adult fiction is a little too whimsical for my taste, but since I expect a picture book to contain its fair share of whimsy, his newest juvenile fiction gets a thumbs up from me.

Instructions: Everything You'll Need To Know on Your Journey is about a bipedal cat who must follow a set of instructions if he is to exit back through the wooden gate where his journey began.

Beyond the wall, the garden looks tranquil at first glance. Cinderella's pumpkin carriage is parked behind some tree
Jay Sensi
Mar 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Neil Gaiman manages to evoke many emotions in this whimsical tale. The book is about a personified cat that must follow a set of instructions if he is to exit back through the wooden gate where his journey began. Through the tale he comes across some fairy tale features well known to the readers. Cinderella's pumpkin carriage is parked behind some trees. The Three Little Pigs are having a picnic. The Frog Prince rests on the lawn. Gaiman provides a sense of equilibrium with the features of famil ...more
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love Neil Gaiman's stories, poems, graphic novel, and books. So realize that I am giving you this review with a somewhat biased viewpoint. Instructions is a poem that I first read in Gaiman's collection of children's stories "M is for Magic." I loved the poem, which is an somewhat eccentric list of instructions about how to survive a fairy tale...and on a deeper level how to live you life in general.

This is a great book for young children, older children, adults and all ages in between. My thr
Jun 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody who belive in fairy tale
One word to describe this book: Marvelous!

After Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess' Stardust Being a Romance Within the Realms of Faerie (Graphic Novel) by Neil Gaiman I decided to buy all Gaiman&Vess partnership. Instruction didn't disappointed me. It's really a magic story with unforgettable illustrations.
I read it to my 5 years old nephew and he love it and ask me to tell it again... and again... and again... and again... and one more time.

5 stars

FYI, I strongly advice the audio book too... it's free, Neil Gaiman himself put it on Youtube (it's his voice)
This one ----> Instructions
Wyatt Packard
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Instructions is one of my favorite Neil Gaiman poems and is something that is as wonderful from a reader's perspective as it is from a writer's or those that are interested in archetypes. Instructions tells of the journey. Not a specific one, but one that in it's deepest sense is in fact instructions. As I was reading I found myself thinking of many of the adventure fantasy novels and myths I have read and Instructions is that journey. The one you find every hero going on, and every character fa ...more
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“Remember your name. Do not lose hope--what you seek will be found. Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn. Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.” 77 likes
“When you reach the little house, the place your journey started,

you will recognize it, although it will seem

much smaller than you remember.

Walk up the path, and through the garden gate

you never saw before but once.

And then go home.

Or make a home.

And rest.”
More quotes…