Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Notebook for Fantastical Observations

Notebook for Fantastical Observations

Holly Black
Illustrator:   Tony DiTerlizzi 
Novelty Book  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2005   ISBN: 978-1416903451

When Holly and Tony first wrote about the adventures of Jared, Simon and Mallory they thought that the adventures of the three children were singular and unique. They soon found out however that other children also had had encounters with the creatures of faerie. So, they decided to create this book which not only describes what other children have seen and learned but which also helps the reader describe his or her own observations of brownies, dragons, dwarves, elves, goblins, griffins, hobgoblins, knockers, ogres, phookas, sprites, stray sods, trolls, and unicorns.

Each child?s story describes how his or her life has been changed by their encounters with one or more of the faerie creatures. For example Sam M. appears to have a mischievous hobgoblin living under his bed who likes to pinch Sam and who makes creepy shadow pictures with his fingers. William G. sees a large winged creature with the head of a lion swoop into his yard and carry off one of the many family dogs; and when Keisha and her family move into an apartment she hears knocking sounds in the wall. The sounds begin to drive her so crazy so one night she decides to see if she can find the source of the noise. In the basement Keisha meets a knocker which gives her a warning, a warning which ends up saving Keisha?s family from a gas leak.

This notebook is full of wonderful illustrations of the creatures described in the letters and there are plenty of suggestions on how to study them, observe them and write about them. Frames, forms, lists, places to draw maps, and much more make this a truly interactive book for the creative child who is drawn to the world created in the Spiderwick Chronicles.

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