Tag Archives: Illustrated

The Wind in the Willows

Book #6: The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame (children’s fiction)

So this was just a quicky read for fun so it’ll be a quicky review to match! When I was a kid we owned the “Four Seasons” VHS box set (boy, that ages me!) of “The Wind in the Willows” which I loved, but I realized a couple weeks ago I’d never actually read the original stories even though the book was sitting on one of the living room shelves. So I fixed that this week.

The stories are adorable, they’re quick, they’re for children, they’re sweet, they’re funny, and as an eighteen year old, I still enjoyed them! Although as an eighteen year old I instantly pictured “Rat” as Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and “Mole” as John Watson (Martin Freeman) so…

The book follows the story of four friends, Mole, Ratty, Toad, and Badger and their lives and occasional adventures. It begins with Mole in his burrow alone, not knowing anyone, but he gets a bit of spring fever, comes out of his burrow and quite quickly thereafter, meets the Water Rat. Mole is so enchanted with The River and with Ratty’s lifestyle that he moves in with him (seeing the “Sherlock” similarities yet? ;D) and soon gets to know Ratty’s friends, Otter, Mr Toad, and Badger. They all are very merry (except Badger who sticks to himself most of the time…) and they have some good laughs, find Otter’s son when he goes missing, and try (note the “try”) to keep Toad out of trouble.

It’s very light and  easy reading, obviously directed at children, but still enjoyable for adults! (or for the young at heart or something…)
All in all, 8 out of 10. Well written, happy ending, but it’s a kids book so it wasn’t exactly intellectually challenging =D

I’ve got a trip to the library planned, got a bunch of books people have recommended I read to get! Talk to you soon!
– Becky



Filed under Book Review, Fiction, Youth/Children's

Muddle Earth

I’m having to work really hard to remember to post about every book I read, I may be boring you but I want to force myself to do this, I’m curious what this blog will look like after a year or so =D

Book #3: Muddle Earth
By Paul Stewart, Illustrated by Chris Riddell (Teen Fantasy. Okay tween, but it’s REALLY a good book!)

No, I didn’t spell it wrong, this isn’t actually a fact book about Middle Earth, it’s a 447 page book about Muddle Earth, the place where anything can happen.

I’ve read this book before, probably when I was 14 or so and I loved it, so when I saw it at a used bookstore while on holiday this year I bought it. Yes, i bought it. Don’t just go to the library for this one, it’s worth a purchase. If you’re into silliness, fantasy, and wizards who can’t perform spells that is…

I like this book because it’s so nice and silly. It’s a bit of a play on Lord of the Rings, but it’s not really that obvious and it’s not like a parody or anything. Okay so Frodo and Joe rhyme and so do Gandalf and Randalf, but Doctor Cuddles and Sauron DO NOT ryhme! (Just in case you missed the rhyming class in grade 2 there…)

The message of the story is also really good, it’s about bravery and heroism coming from within, not being something you earn, or buy. It’s about an ordinary kid becoming a hero (in a fantastical world yes, but still!) and the silliness if it really fun and keeps you entertained as you read.

Another big highlight for me is Chris Riddell’s illustrations, I LOVE this guy’s illustrations. He’s a really good artist and I’m a sucker for pictures in books so his stuff is really a win-win for me.

I’m not sure if this book comes in a paperback, but I know that in the hardcover, just like the LOTR books, theres a map of the story’s world. I love this because I can follow along with where the characters are going and gage distances and stuff and I’m a nerd so I like that.

Oh and do note, LOTR is a bit of a tough read. Don’t get me wrong, great books but they can be a little hard to get through and they’re very long. Muddle Earth is long but it’s a very light read, it doesn’t take long to get through, don’t worry!

**SPOILERS** (A Quick and Basic Summary)

Joe Jefferson is a normal kid in normal Earth struggling to write that dreaded essay on “My Amazing Adventure”. Frustrated he takes his dog Henry for a walk and finds himself suddenly transported into a houseboat in the middle of a floating lake facing a not-very-big ogre and a wizard with a budgie in his hat. The wizard, Randalf, has called Joe to Muddle Earth to become its new Warrior Hero. Joe the Barbarian, a very reluctant warrior hero is taken about Muddle Earth by Norbert (the not-very-big ogre), Randalf (the wizard who is really only an apprentice, but shh! don’t tell!), and Veronica (the sarcastic budgie). He saves Muddle Earth from an angry Ogre (who really just lost his snuggly-wuggly), a greedy Dragon (who turns out to be very nice and gives Joe a lovely warrior-hero outfit from her treasure), and ultimately, from the evil villain, Doctor Cuddles (who, SPOILER, is really just a teddy bear that the apprentice Randalf tried a spell on). Joe saves all the wizards of Muddle Earth and finally get returned home by one of the wizards he saved (because Randalf was just an apprentice and shouldn’t have known how to call Joe there in the first place but he stole the written-down-copy of the spell, unfortunately any hero he called was stuck in Muddle Earth because he didn’t steal the returning-warrior-hero spell. Turns out it was just “Home”).

Overall: 9 out of 10 stars. I like this book, even if it is a bit young for me ;D

So ya, that’s Muddle Earth. Muddlingly clear?

Talk to ya soon!
– Becky

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Filed under Book Review, Fantasy