Review: The Seeing Stone by Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black

guestreview

by First Mate Keira, guest reviewer

Title: The Seeing Stone (Book 2: The Spiderwick Chronicles)
Author: Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black
Format: Hardcover
# of pages: 109
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Summary: When Simon is captured by goblins, Jared and Mallory must find a way to get him back. Thimbletack knows what to do but he’ll only rhyme and give clues. Angry, Jared attacks Thimbletack and gets the seeing stone. Suddenly all things fey come to light!

Why I Started the Book:

I got three Spiderwick novels at once so I could read them back to back. This is book number two.

Likes:

  • The goblin species – part frog in appearance with wicked looking teeth that are not their own.
  • Hogsqueal, the hobgoblin. His spit allows the Grace children to see the fantasy kingdom right under their nose.
  • The troll in the lake. Good thing he’s not very smart or the kids would be in serious trouble.

Dislikes:

  • Tibbs getting eaten. Poor cat! How gruesome!
  • Thimbletack the brownie/boggart is one wicked little creature who makes a lot of mischief. I’m not sure he’ll stay as a dislike as I read more of the books, we’ll just have to wait and see what he does.

Buy: The Seeing Stone (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2), The Spiderwick Chronicles (Boxed Set; Books 1-5)

Book Rating: 3 Treasure Chests
tc3

Keira runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. She’s been reading romance since she was in her teens and began blogging about romance so she could share her passion for her favorite genre. She loves reading paranormal, Regency, historical America, and highlander most of all and completely adores blind and wounded heroes.

[phpbay]Seeing Stone, 5, “377”, “”[/phpbay]

Review: The Wrath of Mulgarath by Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black

guestreview

by First Mate Keira, guest reviewer

Title: The Wrath of Mulgarath (Book 5: The Spiderwick Chronicles)
Author: Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black
Format: Hardcover
# of pages: 136
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Summary: In the final book the Grace children must rescue their mother. They will have to fight their way past Mulgarath’s defenses and get into his palace fortress made of garbage to do so. Without the Field Guide for clues, will they know what to do or can they do it all on their own?

Why I Started the Book:

It’s the last in the original series which I want to finish before renting the movie.

Likes:

  • The dragons – where they come from, how they grow, what they can do. I don’t want to give too much away as it was pretty neat.
  • Bryon, the griffin Simon rescued earlier in the series, shows tremendous loyalty to the kids. He gives them a lift to Mulgarath’s fortress at the junkyard and protects them from dragons. He’s a very handy fellow.
  • Hogsqueal proves to be trustworthy, which is great. He helps get the Grace children into the junkyard and winds up being a huge help in the fight against Mulgarath.
  • Timbletack the house brownie also stops being so difficult and pledges himself to the kids to help rescue their mom. It’s because of his actions Simon and Mallory escape with their lives.

Dislikes:

  • A trip to the elves and a promise to return the Field Guide gives Jared a few moment’s with Arthur Spiderwick. Arthur’s help is extremely minor as he has no experience directly with dragons and warns Jared to stay away from the ogre, Mulgarath.
  • Bragging as the source of Mulgarath’s downfall. It’s what ogres (and most villains) love to do best, so I get it, I just wish it wasn’t done in so obvious a manner.

Last Minute Thoughts: I found the last book to be of a better length for a children’s novel. I still would have liked them more if they were combine in one large volume or were extended and therefore larger and longer for older readers. The series is a great way to introduce young readers into fantasy. I would recommend it for 3-5th graders and 2nd too, most definitely if read aloud to them.

Buy: The Wrath of Mulgarath (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 5), The Spiderwick Chronicles (Boxed Set; Books 1-5)

Book Rating: 3 Treasure Chests
tc3

Keira runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. She’s been reading romance since she was in her teens and began blogging about romance so she could share her passion for her favorite genre. She loves reading paranormal, Regency, historical America, and highlander most of all and completely adores blind and wounded heroes.

[phpbay]Wrath of Mulgarath,5, “377”, “”[/phpbay]

Review: The Field Guide by Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black

guestreview

by First Mate Keira, guest reviewer

Title: The Field Guide (Book 1: The Spiderwick Chronicles)
Author: Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black
Format: Hardcover
# of pages: 107
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Summary: The Grace children are moving into their crazy aunt’s ramshackle house. It’s so rundown it’s practically falling apart. Of the three, Jared is having the most trouble coping with their parent’s divorce and their father leaving them. When strange and malicious things happen to Mallory and Simon, their mother blames Jared, but he didn’t do it! So… who did?

Why I Started the Book:

I asked the librarian at the reference desk for some series recommendations for kids that were similar to Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, and Percy Jackson. The Spiderwick Chronicles was one of the series mentioned. The books are shorter and read for a younger age than expected. I would think 3rd and 4th graders, maybe even 5th graders, would find these enjoyable and also more in their reading range.

Likes:

  • The world building going on is truly on a phenomenal and epic scale. So much is given in such a short span of time. It’s great!
  • The Grace children are a really great group of kids. Jared and Simon are twin boys, age 9. Mallory is the older sister at age 13. She picks on them but also protects them.
  • The pen and ink drawings are truly a delight. There are plenty of them, making reading a breeze. I can get through a book in just under an hour.

Dislikes:

  • The book reads like a partial story instead of a full story because of how short it is. I would prefer if the multiple books were combined in threes to make the reading experience more novel-like.

Buy: The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 1), The Spiderwick Chronicles (Boxed Set; Books 1-5)

Book Rating: 3 Treasure Chests
tc3

Keira runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. She’s been reading romance since she was in her teens and began blogging about romance so she could share her passion for her favorite genre. She loves reading paranormal, Regency, historical America, and highlander most of all and completely adores blind and wounded heroes.

[phpbay] Field Guide Holly Black, 5, “377”, “”[/phpbay]

Review: Lucinda’s Secret by Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black

guestreview

by First Mate Keira, guest reviewer

Title: Lucinda’s Secret (Book 3: The Spiderwick Chronicles)
Author: Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black
Format: Hardcover
# of pages:
108
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Summary: Thimbletack has stolen the Field Guide (or so the Grace children believe) and they want it back. However they are not the only ones who want it — goblins, elves, ogres want it too just to name a few. Whatever will they do?

Why I Started the Book:

This is the last of the Spiderwick books I got at the library. I will need to get more so I can continue the story. They’re still too short, but the illustrations more than make up for it.

Likes:

  • The phooka – a half rabbit and monkey creature. It reminds me of the Cheshire Cat in Alice Wonderland.
  • All the Little People speak in rhyme which at a quick reading can be tricky to make anything of and leave one a little confused. I like it though and think it’s part of the charm of this series.

Dislikes:

  • Crazy Aunt Lucinda might not be so crazy, she’s the only adult that we know of who would believe the Grace children about the fairies because she made friends with some of them, but she certainly isn’t a character who makes a difference to the story. At least not yet.
  • The kids barely escape entrapment by the elves. They want the book and they are not above holding hostages to get it. The elves are supposed to come across noble and sinister at the same time and I’m not so sure it works here.

Buy: Lucinda’s Secret (Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 3), The Spiderwick Chronicles (Boxed Set; Books 1-5)

Book Rating: 3 Treasure Chests
tc3

Keira runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. She’s been reading romance since she was in her teens and began blogging about romance so she could share her passion for her favorite genre. She loves reading paranormal, Regency, historical America, and highlander most of all and completely adores blind and wounded heroes.

[phpbay]Lucinda’s Secret, 5, “377”, “”[/phpbay]

Movie Review: The Spiderwick Chronicles directed by Mark Waters

by First Mate Keira, guest reviewer

Title: The Spiderwick Chronicles
Director: Mark Waters
Run Time: 107 minutes
Rated: PG

Summary: The Grace children move with their mom into their crazy aunt’s house after their parent’s split up. Jared is embittered and blames his mom for the split. All he wants to do is be with his dad and can’t wait until he shows up and takes him away. When unimaginable and unthinkable things begin to happen, Jared is blamed for them. How can he prove his innocence when what’s causing all the problems is so fantastical and so invisible?

Why I watched this movie:

I saw this movie  after reading the original five Spiderwick Chronicles.

Likes:

  • One of the best things about this movie is the fact that it combined all the novels into one movie. The books are exceptionally short and hardly made a book let alone a movie.
  • I think Freddie Highmore who plays both Jared and Simon is absolutely adorable! His acting is incredible. I actually thought he was twins until I looked up the specifics.
  • Mary-Louise Parker who played the mom, Helen Grace, did a great job too. She looked and acted every bit the exasperated, exhausted, and sad mother. Parker truly fleshes out the character from book to onscreen.
  • Hogsqueal. Loved him!

Dislikes:

  • They changed a lot and I mean a lot of things from the books to the movies. Everything from how the griffin becomes part of the family to Helen seeing and battling goblins in the house and all in between.
  • The CGI is weaker than I’d like it to be especially with Thimbletack.
  • There are several continuity errors that the discerning eye and ear can make out while watching.

Buy: The Spiderwick Chronicles (Two-Disc Special Edition), The Spiderwick Chronicles [Blu-ray], The Spiderwick Chronicles (Widescreen Edition), The Spiderwick Chronicles (Full Screen Edition)

Movie Rating: 3.5 Treasure Chests

Keira runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. She’s been reading romance since she was in her teens and began blogging about romance so she could share her passion for her favorite genre. She loves reading paranormal, Regency, historical America, and highlander most of all and completely adores blind and wounded heroes.

[phpbay]Spiderwick Chronicles 10, 29792, “”[/phpbay]

Review: The Ironwood Tree by Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black

guestreview

by First Mate Keira, guest reviewer

Title: The Ironwood Tree (Book 4: The Spiderwick Chronicles)
Author: Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black
Format: Hardcover
# of pages: 108
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Summary: At Mallory’s fencing competition, Jared spies a girl trying to break into his sister’s backpack. When corning the girl, Jared discovers that the girl is fey when she first shapeshifts into Jared’s triplet and then into a young boy. But cornering a shapeshifting fey is not a smart idea as the adults see only what they want to see which leads to Jared’s expulsion. While Simon tries to stand up for him, Mallory is tricked and kidnapped. Will the Jared and Simon be able to save their sister?

Why I Started the Book:

I wanted to finish the Spiderwick Chronicles so I grabbed the two remaining novels. There’s only five in total before the series stops following the Grace children and moves in another direction.

Likes:

  • The dwarves are master metalsmiths. What they can do with metal humans can only dream of and they’re very painstaking with their efforts so that every little thing is perfect. They take much pride in their work which is their downfall.
  • The metal tree underground in the dwarves’ kingdom (otherwise known as the ironwood tree) and the metal dogs. The illustrations and depictions were great.
  • The Knocker that they meet underground during their escape has a feel of Gollum from Lord of the Rings, but without the whole creepy Precious aspect. Luckily, he’s helpful and can hear what stones speak.

Dislikes:

  • Mulgarath’s casual genocide of the dwarves when he discovers they’ve been tricked by Jared and Simon and don’t have the Field Guide. He orders the goblins do all the killing. Afterward Mulgarath reveals that he had the guide the whole time. Why would he do that? Hopefully it’s revealed in the next book.
  • When the Grace children return home they find their mother has been kidnapped and that Hogsqueal helped. Hogsqueal is now looking like a nefarious character, but he swears he had no choice that it was join or die.

Buy: The Ironwood Tree (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 4), The Spiderwick Chronicles (Boxed Set; Books 1-5)

Book Rating: 3 Treasure Chests
tc3

Keira runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. She’s been reading romance since she was in her teens and began blogging about romance so she could share her passion for her favorite genre. She loves reading paranormal, Regency, historical America, and highlander most of all and completely adores blind and wounded heroes.

[phpbay]Ironwood Tree, num5, “377”, “”[/phpbay]