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Notebook for Fantastical Observations by…

Notebook for Fantastical Observations (edition 2005)

by Holly Black (Author)

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216182,920 (3.48)2
Title:Notebook for Fantastical Observations
Authors:Holly Black (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster for Young Readers (2005), Edition: First Edition, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:all-books-currently-owned, currently-reading

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Notebook for Fantastical Observations by Holly Black



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What a delightful surprise of a book, probably overlooked by many as an inferior spin off of a familiar series. In the children's book world, when a series is popular enough to inspire a movie, a proliferation of side material is churned out for profit. Readers may have assumed that this was the case here, but that is far from the truth. This is a fantastic book that prompts creative writing and illustrating, and is right in line with the whimsical world of Spiderwick that inspired it.

The book consists of a series of sections, each beginning with the profile of a fantastical creature, a small story about that faerie purportedly written by a child and sent in to the authors as a true tale, and then several pages of prompts to draw or write, inspired by the faerie creature or the anecdote. These prompts are varied and fun, with some that are similar in style but with different choices, and some that are original and unlike any other prompts I have seen before. For example, several of the pages feature an oval meant to be filled in with the picture of a creature, and a prompt to guide readers in drawing one. Beneath the oval is a question, followed by a series of check marks. Although the format is the same, the question and choices are always different. One question asked what would happen to the creature when it is hit by sunlight, with a variety of witty choices such as turning to stone, melting, and pouting.

While these prompts show repetition, although cleverly altered to be each one unique, some of the prompts are completely distinct. One page had a replica of a baseball diamond, with blank lines for each of the positions, and asked the reader to fill in the names of faerie creatures to create their dream baseball team. Another page asked readers to design the board for a game called Keep Away From the Troll, and another asked readers to draw an ad for a knocker's stone listening service. The writing prompts are great fun, too. Some called on readers to create lists: things I cut open to learn about, promises I never should have made, promises I will keep forever, and so on. Other writing prompts persuaded the reader to write stories or poems.

I really enjoyed both reading and writing in this book. I even tried my hand at some of the illustrations; I'm not an artist, but the ideas were so fun I wanted to try them. Anyone looking for a book with creative writing prompts, or a book that young artists will enjoy, will find this is a great pick. The fantastic subject and creativity of every entry make this a one-of-a-kind writing and drawing journal. For fans of the Spiderwick series, I highly recommend this book, even for those that aren't writers or illustrators. The short stories are a hidden gem of the series. They are clever and exciting, and really expand the Spiderwick universe. This is an all around enchanting package, and I am glad Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi took the time to create this extra Spiderwick book. ( )
  nmhale | Jan 8, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Holly Blackprimary authorall editionscalculated
DiTerlizzi, Tonymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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For all writer, artists, and readers -- Tony and Holly
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Dear Readers, When Tony and I first heard the story of the Grace children, we thought that their experiences were unusual.
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Disambiguation notice
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This notebook for fantastical observations is a must-have for any young adventurer wishing to follow in the footsteps of Arthur Spiderwick and the Grace children. In addition to tips for tracking and observing faerie phenomena (under headings like; How to Get the Sight, Faerie Protections, Suggested Equipment, and Ways to Tell There Might Be Faeries Nearby), readers will read about boggarts, brownies, goblins, griffins, hobgoblins, sprites, trolls, stray sod, phookas, unicorns, elves, dwarves, knockers, dragons, and ogres-all creatures found in the first five books of the Spiderwick Chronicles-in tales gathered from faerie watchers around the globe. There are also copious blank pages in each section throughout for readers.

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