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Neil Gaiman

Bloomsbury (this edition 2010)

ISBN: 978-0-7475-9811-4

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

This is one of those gorgeous Gaiman books that you just have to have, forever, in your bookshelves. You might let the kids read it, but only with clean hands and no food or drink near them! A hardcover reprint edition of this short little book, with new, utterly gorgeous illustrations by Adam Stower, Odd and the Frost Giants captures the eye and imagination in one.

Having seen Gaiman read at the Sydney Opera House (accompanied by a string quartet no less) this year, and having listened to him read the audio version of The Graveyard Book and some of his delightful children’s stories, I now hear Neil’s voice, the lovely cadences and rhythms of his lovely British accent, whenever I read his work. So reading Odd and the Forest Giants was a strange experience, with that voice in my head, but it simply added to my reading enjoyment! The story draws on Norse mythology for its basis, with Neil’s own stroke drawn boldly in the tale of a young man who strikes out to find his own place in his world and comes across three gods trapped in animal form. Odd learns a lot about himself and life as he assists the gods, and in a very compact story, Gaiman imparts a wondeful examination of growing up.

The book is beautiful – an attractive gift option – and the story is beautifully written, heartwarming, sad and entertaining in one package. A definite must for the bookshelf!

Written by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Charles Vess

HarperCollins (2010)

Reviewed by Joanna Kasper

If you grew up, as I did, reading fairy stories, you already know what this poem is telling you. This is like the condensed version of all you need to know to successfully navigate the world of fairy. Remember your manners, be helpful and kind, and maintain a positive attitude. It is beautifully written and reads aloud wonderfully, and if you have children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews or small children within a reasonable radius you should buy this book and read it to them.

The illustrations are beautiful, with intricate, page-wide panoramas that will have you asking, “Is that Cinderella’s coach over there behind the trees?”, and, “Do you see all the creatures hiding in the dark, mysterious wood?”.

I have not enough superlatives for this book, the only thing better than reading it yourself is finding a recording on the internet of Neil himself reading it aloud. Go, do it, he has an amazing voice.

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