Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 3-6-As this new series begins, Jared, Simon, and Mallory Grace move with their mother into their Great-Aunt Lucinda's old, decaying house, where they discover a secret room. A poetic clue leads Jared to a book that offers detailed information about the different types of magical creatures that live in our world. After the inadvertent destruction of the home and treasures of the boggart who inhabits the room leads to increasingly more malicious tricks, Jared is blamed. With the help of the Field Guide, the boy realizes that the small creature is at fault and is able to pacify him. Thimbletack warns Jared and his siblings that reading the book will only lead to trouble, which is what comes to pass in the second volume, when Simon is kidnapped by goblins, leaving Jared and Mallory to come to his rescue. Details like Thimbletack's tiny house, Jared's use of a dumbwaiter to discover the hidden room, and the fights against the goblins will catch readers' attention. However, the Grace children stand out only for surface characteristics like Simon's many pets and Mallory's passion for fencing. Adult characters remain offstage or exist only to discipline and disbelieve the children. The many text-enhancing black-and-white drawings give the "Spiderwick Chronicles" a look that resembles Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (HarperCollins), and the presentation as based on the Grace children's factual story as told to the authors gives it a similar tone, which should add to the books' appeal. While the characters' lack of depth detracts from the quality of these titles, the fast, movielike pace will grab young readers.-Beth L. Meister, Yeshiva of Central Queens, Flushing, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book Review
In [cf2]Guide[cf1], siblings Jared, Simon, and Mallory discover a mysterious book about magical creatures and an enigmatic brownie. In [cf2]Stone[cf1], Jared and Mallory rescue Simon from a band of goblins, meeting a dangerous troll, a hobgoblin, and an injured griffin along the way. The individual books don't stand alone and the first mostly sets the stage, but the writing is fast paced and action-packed. Retro black-and-white spot art adds atmosphere. [Review covers these Spiderwick Chronicles titles: [cf2]The Field Guide[cf1] and [cf2]The Seeing Stone[cf1].] From HORN BOOK Fall 2003, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.