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The Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi

The Field Guide (original 2003; edition 2006)

by Tony DiTerlizzi, Holly Black

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,621882,283 (3.79)78
Title:The Field Guide
Authors:Tony DiTerlizzi
Other authors:Holly Black
Info:Thorndike Press (2006), Hardcover, 144 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Field Guide by Holly Black (2003)

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    fyrefly98: Very similar stories (kids in a creepy old house learn to see magical creatures all around them), although I think Fablehaven skews just a little older than the Spiderwick Chronicles.
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» See also 78 mentions

English (81)  Swedish (2)  Italian (1)  Afrikaans (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
First of all, I think I should comment on the presentation of this book. I don't normally judge novels based on this but this is a work of art. I'm reading from the hardbacked version and it's certainly a keeper. It looks good on the shelf and is filled with wonderfully imaginative illustrations. I also love the way that it's all laid out to make it seem like a true story, with a photocopy of an original page from the guide book and letter from Holly Black explaining how she came by it. The book would certainly make a wonderful gift for a child and would earn a cherished place in their collect.

As for the book itself, I actually enjoyed it far more than I was expecting. The story is very light and quick to read and utterly brimming with imagination. The setting is incredibly memorable and the story certainly kept its target audience in mind, creating a simple premise that was easy to follow and yet maintained an element of mystery up until the final page to hold a pre-teen's interest.

The three main characters all had very different voices and so worked very well as a group, with Mallory as the tough older sister, Simon as the sensitive one and Jared as the trouble maker who nobody believed (even when he was telling the truth). I also liked the subplot about their parent's divorce as it added a bit of realism to their world, while at the same time explaining some of Jared's motivations.

The only thing that I found disappointing was the length. The book is incredibly short and, as the series is just a five part story, the sceptic in me felt a little like it was so divided in order to wring more money out of the buyer. Yet, I'd say it's still probably worth it in the end - it was a really fun read! ( )
1 vote ArkhamReviews | Jun 29, 2015 |
Such a cool book!

I absolutely loved the illustrations. They really brought the words to life.

This book is one of those perfect pieces of literature that, while written for young readers, can be enjoyed by adults as well. This is truly a book for all ages.

I have seen the movie adaptation of the series (three times, in fact) but I am still frantic to start the second book to find out what happens next. ( )
  CareBear36 | Mar 26, 2015 |
Short but delightful.

The three Grace children move into a ramshackle old Victorian house with their mother. The house actually belongs to a great-aunt who is supposedly mad because she keeps rambling on about the “little people.” But strange, spooky things happen on the Spiderwick estate!

First of all, the three Grace kids are fantastic - Mallory, the oldest, is a fencer. Simon and Jared are twins. Simon loves animals, has two pet mice, and wants to be a vet. Jared, meanwhile, is having trouble dealing with their parents' recent divorce and has gotten in trouble for fighting at school. Each of the children is unique and memorable.

When things start happening in their new house - like Mallory wakes up with her hair knotted to the bed, and the kitchen gets trashed late at night, Jared ends up getting blamed! But he knows he didn’t do it, plus there is this weird scratching sound in the walls and the children discover a very bizarre “nest.” An old book hidden away in the attic, written by Arthur Spiderwick, describes how all types of faeries are real! After reading it, Jared determines that what they are dealing with is a Boggart.

The artwork by Tony DiTerlizzi is really cool. I love the kids, the house and the magical critters. Everything has a lovely gothic edge to it. Wonderfully done.

The only thing I didn’t like was that I hate when supernatural stuff is going on and the parent just ignores it/blames the kid/refuses to listen. I haaaaaate that trope, and unfortunately it’s kind of the whole plot here. Otherwise, though, a very charming book indeed. ( )
  catfantastic | Mar 20, 2015 |
The Field Guide
Rating ****

Has a brownie ever stood on your shoulder? Well one has stood on mine. Hey, my name is Simon, and a brownie named Thumbletack has stood on my shoulder. You’re probably asking yourself, when did this happen. Well let me tell you. It all happened a month ago when we moved into my great uncle Arthur’s old house. We started having problems the same night when messes were popping up everywhere. Mallory woke up screaming. Her hair was tied into pigtails. She asked “Who did this.”
The Field Guide, The Seeing Stone, and Lucinda’s Secret were all published in 2003. The Ironwood Tree and The Wrath of Mulgarath were both published in 2004. It is funny to me that all five books were published in a 2 year span. It also has companion books.
The main characters in the are Simon, Jared, and Mallory. Simon and Jared are twins (not identical). Simon ( )
  takeoffTore | Mar 12, 2015 |
Short and simple, but oh so good. The three Grace children perfectly compliment each other, and the descriptions perfectly match the excellent illustrations. There are some very chilling elements to Spiderwick, which is expected since it's Holly Black. But even though I got a few shivers down my spine, I'd still feel comfortable giving this to a younger reader. ( )
  BrynDahlquis | Aug 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Holly Blackprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
DiTerlizzi, TonyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For my grandmother, Melvina, who said I should write a book just like this one and to whom I replied that I never would --H. B.

For Arthur Rackham, may you continue to inspire others as you have me --T. D.
First words
If someone had asked Jared Grace what jobs his brother and sister would have when they grew up, he would have had no trouble replying.
The strangest thing, however, was the subject matter. The book was full of information about faeries.

The room had a low ceiling, and the walls were covered in bookshelves. Looking around, he realized there was no door.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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AR 4.2, Pts 1.0
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689859368, Hardcover)

The first book in a beautifully produced series of five, The Field Guide sets up the story of the Grace children--13-year-old Mallory and 9-year-old twins Jared and Simon--who with their mother move into the dilapidated Spiderwick Estate only to quickly find themselves sucked into a dark and fascinating world of faeries.

Superficially, the Spiderwick Chronicles smack of Lemony Snicket, with its "true story" setup and breathless warnings ("Go away/close the book/put it down/do not look"). But Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black owe no one for the intensely absorbing world they've created. Black certainly showed fey promise in her slightly freaky debut and DiTerlizzi has weird cred to spare, from his zany Jimmy Zangwow to countless credits for the Magic: The Gathering card game.

By combining their ample skill with thoughtful art direction and demanding production values, the duo has succeeded in creating a series with irresistible appeal. Each book promises a quick read, snappy plot progression, and dozens of DiTerlizzi's imaginative pen-and-ink drawings. So if you're drawn to The Field Guide at all, you might as well save yourself the trouble and make sure you have the second book (The Seeing Stone handy. (Ages 6 to 10) --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:04 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When the Grace children go to stay at their Great Aunt Lucinda's worn Victorian house, they discover a field guide to fairies and other creatures and begin to have some unusual experiences.

(summary from another edition)

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