The success of Harry Potter
has launched a continuous assault of young adult fantasy novels crowding the shelves of book stores, all vying for attention and craving the unrivaled fame that Harry Potter possesses.
Of the numerous titles promising adventure, wizardry, dragons and elements of the fantastic, only a precious few have managed to implant themselves in our hearts and hands. The Spiderwick Chronicles is one such anthology that initially promises little but succeeds in delivering copious amounts of enjoyment. The intriguing story line, believable characteristics of sibling rivalry among the main characters, and a steadily rising parade of common creatures of folklore and myth each serve a crucial part in making the Spiderwick Chronicles a riveting, wonderful read.
The Spiderwick Chronicles, an anthology of five books, is highly endearing to both children and adults. Written by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi in old-style gothic renderings full of flavor and detail, the Spiderwick Chronicles follows the adventures of three children: older sister Mallory Grace, and her younger twin brothers, Simon and Jared. The Grace children and their mother have moved to a mild wreck of a house, and soon after, strange occurrences, and the discovery of a journal kept by the previous owner, a relative of the Graces, lead the children to believe that there lies much to be discovered in the woods and other areas immediately surrounding the house.
The journal is actually a field guide to the creatures of myth and folklore. Fairies, goblins, elves, dragons, and other fantastical, magical beings are described in its pages, and the children’s encounters with the denizens of the hidden world of fairy begins soon after the discovery of the book.
Finding companions in brownies, hobgoblins and griffons, and enemies is dwarves, goblins, and ogres, the Grace children soon find themselves ensnared in the center of a dangerous yet amazing adventure.
Each book of the Spiderwick Chronicles serves as its own unique story, with exciting subplots and engaging storytelling, while continuing the crux of the main story into each successive book, culminating in a high-powered climax that leaves readers clamoring for more.
By keeping the resident creatures of the Spiderwick Chronicles firmly rooted in our world, rather than some far away, mystical land, readers will easily find themselves believing that such wondrous beings may in fact exist, and the hearts and minds of children and young adults will be radiant with imagination and wonder, while adults will likely revisit that nostalgia of searching for fairies and elves amongst the toadstools and clover patches of their childhood yards.
While the writing style of Holly Black in the Spiderwick Chronicles is clearly intended for young adults, it still contains an appropriate amount of descriptive elegance. Adults may find each book over too quickly, as they tend to run only about 100 pages each, but they are in fact the perfect size for children and young adults, a proper dose of storytelling for eager minds searching for an alternative to lengthier works.
As a wonderful accessory to the Spiderwick Chronicles, a replica of the field guide discovered by the Grace children is also available. The Field Guide is a beautifully illustrated, highly detailed book sure to delight anyone who has enjoyed the Spiderwick Chronicles or simply fancies such imaginative renditions of creatures of folklore.
Written in a journalistic style, accompanied by notes and instructions on the dealings of the fairies described therein, Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You is an essential guidebook to the world of fairykind, and a delightful masterpiece of imagination.
The Spiderwick Chronicles will soon grace the big screens, as plans are currently in production to produce a movie based on the books, and the author has hinted that future books may be forthcoming. Until then, readers can delight in re-reading the marvelous adventures, a story that never loses its magic.