Tag Archives: The Spiderwick Chronicles

Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You

Overview

Title: Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You
Author: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles Companion
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fae, Fantasy
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Year: 2004

Thoughts

This was enjoyable and easy to read. A nice book to flick through as I was waiting for my daughter to truly fall asleep. It was fun, light and very, very pretty. A perfect companion to the rest of the Spiderwick books.

I love that this has a feeling of legitimacy to it. Even if it is a fantasy story. Somehow, DiTerlizzi and Black manage to make it feel realistic and like you could just reach through the veil and experience this delightful world. Toeing that line between real and fantasy can be incredibly difficult, and they’ve made it work. Seriously enjoyable.

It’s obvious that there is a lot of research which has gone into this book, and the lore of the Spiderwick Chronicles in general. After all, these are all fae creatures and beings that show up again and again in literature and entertainment. Although, some of them are pictured in ways that I never imagined. And seriously loved. Another testament to DiTerlizzi.

A wonderful read and a lovely companion to the rest of the Spiderwick Chronicles. I can’t wait to share this with my daughter one day.

<- Care and Feeding of SpritesThe Nixie’s Song ->

Image source: Dymocks

Care and Feeding of Sprites by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black

Overview

Title: Care and Feeding of Sprites
Author: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles Companion
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fae, Fantasy
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Year: 2006

Thoughts

I really enjoyed this. It was fun and easy. Cute and quaint. Something that was just a fun diversion for a few moments. The pictures in and of themselves were glorious. And that’s not even taking into account the good writing.

My biggest complaint about this is that there isn’t more specific information on each of the sprites. I love the world that Black and DiTerlizzi have created. And I would have loved to read more about the particulars of the different species that appear in the pages.

This was incredibly short. But also good fun. Mostly I wish this was longer. But I still loved all of the imagery throughout.

<- A Grand Tour of the Enchanted World, Navigate by ThimbletackArthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You ->

Image source: Booktopia

The Wrath of Mulgarath by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black

Overview
The Wrath of Mulgarath

Title: The Wrath of Mulgarath
Author: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles #5
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, FaeFantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: “They’re all dragons.”

Synopsis

Three ordinary kids, Jared, Simon, and Mallory Grace, have entered another world — without leaving this one! Two remarkable talents, New York Times best-sellers Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, have risked everything to bring this remarkable account to light. Five books — one thrilling adventure — the Spiderwick Chronicles!

Their world is closer than you think.

Thoughts

Throughout the past week or so of reading this series, I’ve been a little perplexed. Some of the bits and pieces I remember seeing in a movie from a long time ago, but there was a lot that I didn’t remember. Which, to be completely honest, is fairly typical for a book turned movie. It really wasn’t until reading this story that I 100% was like, YES! I did see that movie!

The rest of the Spiderwick books have been a great read before bedtime – they’re short and sweet, and quite easy to put down halfway through. Not so with this tale. Which, since it’s the conclusion to a series, should probably have been a little more expected. After all, they’re tying up loose ends, neatening a storyline and finishing off a great tale that ends with the Grace children sending their letter to the authors – the instigator for this whole series.

I really liked how everything in this series feels like it has come full circle at the conclusion. There is still room for more tales, but there isn’t the overwhelming urge to find out what happens next. It’s neat, tight and kind of sweet. Just what I like in a good children’s books’ ending…

 <- The Ironwood TreeThe Field Guide ->

Image source: Simon and Schuster

The Ironwood Tree by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black

Overview
The Ironwood Tree

Title: The Ironwood Tree
Author: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles #4
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, FaeFantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: Jared looked at him with surprise.

Synopsis

First a pack of vile, smelly goblins snatch Simon. Then a band of elves try to entrap Jared. Why is the entire faerie world so eager to get their hands on Spiderwick’s Guide? And will the Grace kids be left alone, now that the Guide has mysteriously disappeared? Don’t count on it.

At school, someone is running around pretending to be Jared, and it’s not Simon. To make matters even worse, now Mallory has disappeared and something foul in the water is killing off all the plants and animals for miles around. Clues point to the old abandoned quarry, just outside of town. Dwarves have taken over an abandoned mine there. And the faerie world’s abuzz with the news that a creature with plans to rule the world has offered them a gift to join with him — he’s given them a queen…

Thoughts

Throughout The Spiderwick Chronicles so far, Mallory has seemed like a bossy, tough, almost larger than life character. Probably because you’re almost seeing the story through the lens of one of her younger brothers. There is a sense of not-quite-hero-worship, and antagonism between Jared and Mallory, so it’s kind of fun that in this tale of the Grace children, it is Mallory who needs to be saved.

The problems that have slowly been building with Jared’s actions, the fae and the fieldguide finally start to come to a boil in this story. Not only are they forced to confront kidnappers and a shapeshifting horror, but they also find themselves betrayed, and confronted with Mulgarath for the first time. It’s a great way to open up the storyline for the next (and final) tale in this series.

Actually, this tale was such a great way to open up the storyline for the next Spiderwick Chronicles, that it took me a lot of willpower to turn off the light and go to sleep…

 <- Lucinda’s SecretThe Wrath of Mulgarath ->

Image source: Goodreads

Lucinda’s Secret by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black

Overview
Lucinda's Secret

Title: Lucinda’s Secret
Author: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, FaeFantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: “We were looking for some trace of our great-uncle.”

Synopsis

Let the story of my niece and nephews be a warning. The more you know, the more danger you’re in. And trust me, you don’t want to meddle with the Little People. — S.S.
One thrilling adventure — The Spiderwick Chronicles!
Their world is closer than you think.

Thoughts

The Grace siblings seem to steadily get pulled further and further into the world of the fae. From every book I’ve ever read, this just doesn’t seem to be such a great idea… but, the Grace children haven’t read as much as I have. You know, and they’re fictional children’s characters designed to emphasise that idea.

I loved the imagery of Aunt Lucinda in her little home, and the reasons why she was put there… the back story to the Spiderwick estate just seems to keep getting better and better too. After all, there’s a great tale there that is slowly being unfolded in front of your eyes. So much so that I actually struggled to put this book down, when the first two novels were much simpler to put down and walk away from.

Now I just can’t wait to open The Ironwood Tree… where will the Grace children find themselves next?

 <- The Seeing StoneThe Ironwood Tree ->

Image source: Simon & Schuster

The Seeing Stone by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black

Overview
The Seeing Stone

Title: The Seeing Stone
Author: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, FaeFantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: Giving them the handkerchief was nice, but it could still be a trick.

Synopsis

we said no still you looked
now instead
someone gets cooked

The Grace kids are just beginning to get used to Aunt Lucinda’s strange old mansion when Simon suddenly disappears. Jared and his sister have to rely on the help of a mischievous house boggart, a nasty bridge troll, and a loud-mouthed hobgoblin to get him back.

Thoughts

At the end of The Field Guide, the Grace siblings are warned that they are putting themselves in danger by keeping the, well, field guide. So, it comes as no surprise that in this next story, one of them gets kidnapped. By creepy, gross goblins.

Something that I love about this series is that it is an easy read, but not one that I can’t put down. I actually stopped reading this halfway through, and then finished it the next night.

The ability of the children to put each other before themselves and constantly try to save one another. Add that to the fact that Simon is also trying to save whatever animal and creature he can find… it’s a pretty feel good story this one. That’s if you don’t count the creepy, gross goblins…

 <- The Field GuideLucinda’s Secret ->

Image source: Simon and Schuster

The Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black

Overview
The Field Guide

Title: The Field Guide
Author: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, FaeFantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: They did all kinds of work for a plain old bowl of milk.

Synopsis

It all starts when Jared Grace finds their great uncle’s book, ‘Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastic World Around You’ and the Grace kids realize that they are not alone in their new house. Now the kids want to tell their story but the faeries will do everything they can to stop them.

Thoughts

I’ve had the second book in the Spiderwick Chronicles for ages. But I haven’t actually had the chance to get / read the first one in a long time. Finally, I managed to get my hands on a copy, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. This is a cute, quick, easy to read story that brings to life the world of the fae and the journey of the Grace children. I can’t actually remember what the movie was like, but this makes me want to rewatch it regardless…

I love the pictures that are scattered throughout this book. They bring to life the words, and I can imagine pouring over this very short tale with my children in the future. Accompanied by the fact that this is written about a young trio that have just lost their father, it’s a great way to show their strength and that anyone can do anything – even if they are young.

It’s difficult to write a long review on a book that I read in half an hour. Which is kind of why I thoroughly enjoyed this book – it was just nice, quick and easy to spend half hour before bed. A great way to switch off after a long day.

 <- The Wrath of MulgarathThe Seeing Stone ->

Image source: Reading for Sanity