• Type: Books
  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Age Category: Children
  • Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy/Horror
  • Recommended by: Jessica T.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780061960307
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Ready for a fantastic adventure? Don’t forget these instructions…

This is a picture book for all ages in which Vess beautifully illustrates Gaiman’s poem “Instructions.” The verses previously appeared in both Gaiman’s collections Fragile Things and M is for Magic as well as in Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s star-studded collection A Wolf at the Door. I have always loved this poem for its references to mythology and fairy tales (classic and modern) and I still get something out of it each time I read it. I would tag it all ages because growing fans of fantasy will over time recognize more and more popular story elements when they come back to it but it's a lovely read aloud for younger children as well. And Vess’s illustrations are magical with tremendous detail—blackbirds flying out of a pie, a troll under a log bridge, and sprites in the wild wood. I should also note that it is totally worth tracking down the audio version of the poem in Fragile Things or M is for Magic read by Gaiman.

If you like this try Gaiman and Vess’s previous picture book collaboration, Blueberry Girl a beautiful prayer for the protection of a new or soon to be child.