SFF Author: Tony DiTerlizzi

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THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES: A great little set of books

THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES by Holly Black

Although the book in The Spiderwick Chronicles were originally published separately (five in all), I knew it was only a matter of time before a box set was released, and so held off purchasing the separate installments so that I could invest in the complete set. I’m glad I waited, as one of the best things about this series is its beautiful presentation (the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” has little meaning here), and this nifty box set protects and displays them to best effect.


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The Nixie’s Song: A new trilogy in the Spiderwick world

The Nixie’s Song by Holly Black

After the five-part The Spiderwick Chronicles ended with a promise that there would be more to follow in the Spiderwick world, it was only a matter of time before there was another installment in the series. Now we pick up in the first book of a proposed trilogy that features a new set of children (two step-siblings) and a different location (the mangrove swamps of Florida as opposed to the old world charm of New England), but with plenty of new faerie lore incorporated into the story.


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A Giant Problem: Characters have improved

A Giant Problem by Holly Black

In A Giant Problem, the second book of the sequel/spin-off to the original The Spiderwick Chronicles, we meet up again with our two protagonists: stepsiblings Nick (surly and portly) and Laurie (dreamy and cunning), who are getting along reasonably well in the wake of their discoveries in the previous book The Nixie’s Song.

Having allied themselves with the half-blind and near-senile Noseeum Jack (this book’s version of wise-but-dotty Aunt Lucinda) the two are learning all they can about the awakening giants that are threatening their parents’


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The Wyrm King: A treat, as always

The Wyrm King by Holly Black

The third and final part of Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi’s collaborative effort is called The Wyrm King, following on from The Nixie’s Song and A Giant Problem, part of the Beyond the Spiderwick trilogy which in turn is a sequel to the original The Spiderwick Chronicles series (why are fantasy titles so convoluted?) and which wraps up the trilogy in a satisfying, action-picked finale.


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Care and Feeding of Sprites: Another beautiful book

Care and Feeding of Sprites by Holly Black

Since the publication of the five-part Spiderwick Chronicles there have been three “spin-off” publications: Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You (a copy of the book that featured so heavily in the Chronicles themselves), A Notebook for Fantastical Observations, designed for readers themselves to fill out, and this, Care and Feeding of Sprites. If you can only choose one of them, then the pick of the litter is undoubtedly the Field Guide,


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Kenny & the Dragon: A great read-aloud book

Kenny & the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi

Kenny & the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi is a charming tribute to Kenneth Grahame’s children’s classic The Reluctant Dragon, which most people are familiar with through the Disney short film adaptation. In this beautifully illustrated volume, DiTerlizzi tells the story of a small, bookish rabbit named Kenny who learns that a dragon has been spotted on his family farm. Armed with a bestiary, he goes to investigate, and instead of a fearsome fire-spouting dragon,


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The Search for WondLa: Sweet heroine, dull plot

The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

Eva Nine has been living in an underground bunker for all of her twelve years of life. She’s being raised by a slightly humanoid robot named MUTHR (it’s an anagram), her omnipod (a personal hand-held device) and her computerized home called Sanctuary. Eva Nine is the only human she’s ever seen. What’s above ground? Why is she not allowed out? Are there any other humans on Earth? If not, where are they? Soon some of Eva’s questions will be answered because somebody is hunting her and to escape,


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