Thursday, July 22, 2010

Instructions by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess

In Instructions, Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess come together to create a story that offers advice for children and adults alike. The subtitle describes it best: Everything You’ll Need to Know on Your Journey.

Everything about this book is beautiful. The writing and the illustrations are just gorgeous. On the surface the book appears to be a picture book for younger children. However, after reading it a second and third time and admiring the stunning illustrations, I realized that the book contains lessons relevant for readers of all ages.

Favourite quotes: I could probably quote the whole book as one long favourite quote, but I’ll leave it at one line/page:
Do not be jealous of your sister;
know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from one’s lips as toads and frogs;
Colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.

I also loved the line involving giants, witches, dragons and hearts.

My favourite illustration has to be the monochrome/sepia toned one on the first endpaper. I love it because it’s a sweeping panorama of the whole story and features most of the characters.

Highly recommended. It would make a perfect little gift book for those starting out on a new journey or taking on a new challenge.

Click here to see a YouTube video featuring those nice people at HarperCollins talking about this book, as well as a couple of other wonderful books.

For more information about this book or to browse inside and some sample illustrations, please visit the HarperCollins Canada website.

Please visit Neil Gaiman’s website or the Mouse Circus for more information about the author. For more information about the illustrator, Charles Vess’s website.

I'd like to thank HarperCollins Canada for this book.

Instructions by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess, Harper (HarperCollins), ©2010. ISBN 9780061960307(Hardcover). 40p.

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