Illustrator: Tony DiTerlizzi
Published by Simon & Schuster on November 1st 2005
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
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It all began with a strange, mysterious correspondence left for authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black at a small New England bookstore. Written by three siblings, the letter told of their great-great-uncle Arthur Spiderwick and an unfinished tome filled with eyewitness accounts of creatures otherwise thought to be the stuff of legend. In the #1 New York Times bestselling serial the Spiderwick Chronicles, readers were enthralled by the account of the those siblings, Jared, Simon, and Mallory Grace, as they battled dwarves, goblins, elves, and a diabolical ogre in their efforts to hold on to their uncle Spiderwick,s life work. Now, through the combined efforts of the Grace children and authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, Simon & Schuster is thrilled to present that work to you!
Beginning with a thoughtful and informative introduction, progressing through six exhaustive sections featuring thirty-one faerie species, and culminating with an addendum that includes observations supplied by Jared Grace, this long-awaited compendium to the worldwide Spiderwick phenomenon delivers enough information to satisfy even the most demanding faerie enthusiast. Not only will readers learn the habits and habitats of the fourteen fantastical creatures featured in the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling chapter books, but they will be delighted and astonished by an additional seventeen creatures. Also included are dozens of snippets from Arthur Spiderwick,s personal journal as well as cameos from a few series favorites.
With so much to offer, this book is destined to be pored over for generations to come!
I love the Guide. It is much more detailed than the books, obviously, and includes many creatures that the books don’t mention but are found elsewhere in folklore. The illustrations are beautiful, of course, and there are many two-page spreads for larger illustrations. They are very detailed and beautifully-coloured. I like how Arthur provides many examples of a lot of the faeries, based on several observances. So while we may think of Mulgarath as the main ogre, there were illustrations of others that were even more interesting, because there was more backstory. And seeing a female troll was strange! But it was so cool and a lot of things were realistic—like you could actually see the faeries or proof of their existence if you looked closely enough. Some things were just about impossible, but others simply required a bit of open-mindedness. And I do find it hard to believe that Arthur got lucky enough to see some of the rarer creatures! Like a phoenix, which was only supposed to exist one at a time, and live for 500 years before rebirth…and a banshee, following around someone who is dying…and a sea serpent! I find that the rarest of all. (Second, I suppose, after the phoenix.) It’s hard to find something that far out to sea, even if it is enormous. And he apparently saw it in its entirety.
But really, so many of these creatures could have their own offshoot books, like the sprites have. I would be so into that idea. They’re all fascinating. And you’re probably going to ask me to pick a favourite. However I don’t really ever choose favourites in anything! Hmmm…I really like the concept of a house brownie, but I think sprites would make for better pets, although difficult to contain…I think phookas would be easy to get along with, and I think mermaids are beautiful…I think nixies would also be easy to just hang out with…but I have always liked elves. I would like to be able to live among them, I think, because they would not accept me as a human, an outsider. And they are very beautiful as well, and wise. I would like to get even more information about all of these creatures. Then I would be able to talk a lot more. But this book had to cover so much in a reasonable amount of pages! I am quite happy with what it is. It’s a lovely addition to the mythology section of my personal library.
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