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The Spiderwick Chronicles

March 2, 2008

Maya, Serena & Spiderwick 020Jared Grace is a young boy who is having a hard time adjusting to the recent announcement by his mom and dad that they are getting a divorce. His mother has moved Jared, his twin brother Simon and teenage sister Mallory to an old dilapidated house. The owner of the house, elderly Aunt Lucinda, currently resides in a mental institution.

After Jared and his siblings find a strange nest-like area in the walls of the old rickety kitchen, strange things begin happening around the house. When Mallory’s hair is knotted to her headboard overnight, Jared is the likely suspect and has to face his mother’s disappointment for something he didn’t do. After a little detective work, Jared finds that there is a bogart in the house, and he is not too happy that the kids had disturbed his nest. Jared also finds Arthur Spiderwicks Field Guide, a book filled with information about goblins, trolls, dragons, griffins, bogarts and other fantasy creatures.  

Enter the world of The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. I decided to read this series to my daughter Leah in anticipation of the movie, which was released in theaters on Valentine’s Day.

Maya, Serena & Spiderwick 026

The story is divided into five separate books, with a total of 672 pages.

It’s hard to say who enjoyed this series more – myself or Leah. Interspersed with wonderful drawings throughout, The Spiderwick Chronicles is a fun, fantasy filled romp and a great series.

A word of warning though -my five year old does not scare easily. She is thick skinned by nature and reading about things like cat-roasting goblins, trolls and dragons barely fazes her. Having said that, I certainly don’t think that this series is good for more sensitive children. It is suggested for the 9 – 12 age group, so be sure to take that into consideration. Also, the movie (which was very loosely based on the book and therefore not half as good) was really over-the-top with extremely scary imagery of Mulgarath, the villain from the book. Even I was taken aback by how unnecessarily scary the last twenty minutes of the movie was.

After the movie was finished and I asked Leah how she liked it, she said “it wasn’t anything like the book Mom. I liked reading it so much more.” Spoken like a true reader.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2008 5:13 pm

    Ha! I’ll be posting about this tomorrow. I also found it very enjoyable but have heard the movie is dismal.

  2. March 2, 2008 5:15 pm

    How does it compare to The Chronicles of Narnia series and Harry Potter? Just curious. My daughter is 2 1/2 so she’s a few years away from any of these but just curious if I should buy them now. 🙂

  3. March 2, 2008 8:23 pm

    These have been on my must-read list forever. I really need to pick me up a copy of them.

  4. March 2, 2008 11:28 pm

    How precious are those words? When hubby and I see a movie after I’ve read the book, he always asks how they compare. I always tell him the same thing–the book is always better (although there have been *some* exceptions).

    I haven’t heard/read anything about this series, but I’ve seen the previous and they look like a lot of fun (albiet scary–I’m very easily scared!). 🙂

  5. Cat permalink
    March 3, 2008 9:22 am

    Your comment here and on my blog about the movie made me feel better. I have been getting strange looks and comments from many people when I say I hated the movie. They apparently think I am insane because it was SO AWESOME!

    Um, no. But thanks. I’ll just stick with the book (which sassymonkey currently has ;))

    Secondly… the photos you posted on this well, post are amazing! Did you take them yourself? I really like them!

  6. March 3, 2008 9:22 am

    Awwww! Great kid.

    Darnit, now there’s another series I want to read! 😀

  7. March 3, 2008 11:16 am

    That is one reason I really like seeing movies before I read the book. That way, I enjoy everything.

  8. March 3, 2008 5:32 pm

    I really want to read this series someday. Holly Black introduced me to modern fairy tales with Tithe.

  9. March 3, 2008 5:48 pm

    A true reader indeed.

  10. March 4, 2008 8:38 am

    On the topic of Chronicles/series and Children’s books… I would DEFINITELY suggest The Wardstone Chronicles (UK – The Spook’s Apprentice, The Spook’s Curse, etc). In the USA it’s The Last Apprentice Series. They are by Joe Delaney.

  11. March 4, 2008 1:48 pm

    I’ve had Spiderwick Chronicles on my reading list for some time, and couldn’t get my husb to take me to see the film. I’d probably be better off reading it first anyways, movies usually spoil my taste for the book if they come first.

  12. March 7, 2008 11:37 pm

    Thanks to you and Leah for the movie warning. I’ve been wanting to read this series for quite some time. I AM going to read them soon, I hope. Nothing better than sharing literature with our children and grandchildren. Kudos for reading to your daughter.

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