Neil Gaiman: How to survive in a fairy tale

BOOK REVIEW/RECOMMENDATIONS                                                  (Staff, 7-9, 10-12)


We’re about to be treated to a new picture book by Neil – Instructions –  about the rules to follow and how to get around if you happen to find yourself travelling in a fairy-tale world.


Remember your name.
Do not lose hope—what you seek will be found.
Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn.
Trust dreams.
Trust your heart, and trust your story.

Neil Gaiman is the critically acclaimed and award winning author of many best-selling books for young adults (and old), including novels (like Coraline), short stories (like M is for Magic), picture books (like The wolves in the walls), film scripts (like Mirror Mask), and short stories and graphic novels (the Sandman series).

Sometimes, when he was smaller, people used to tell Neil Gaiman not to make things up. He never listened. Now he’s written over twenty books, been given dozens of awards, many of them astonishingly ugly. He’s written television drama and for movies, and for comics. He’s even written “non-fiction” which he learned is only marginally less made-up than the fiction. Sometimes he thinks about finding some of those people who warned him of all the awful things that would happen if he kept making things up, and finding out if it’s happened yet, or is still going to happen

(Neil Gaiman’s biography – The Official Neil Gaiman Website for Young Readers)

Have a look at this animated book trailer for Instructions, beautifully illustrated by illustrator, Charles Vess!

Charles Vess has illustrated numerous publications and been featured in many exhibits. His awards include a World Fantasy Award and two Eisner Awards. He lives in Virginia.

What is Instructions about?

Neil Gaiman’s website explains:

The words of renowned storyteller Neil Gaiman’s instructions for navigating a treacherous and deceptive fairy-tale landscape are brought to vivid life by award-winning fantasy illustrator Charles Vess, acclaimed for his illustrations of magical and mythological landscapes, in their first collaboration since the bestselling Blueberry Girl.

Instructions guides a traveler safely beyond magical gates and enchanted cottages, by gardens and woods populated by princesses, wolves, and witches, past a riddling ferryman, and through sea and sky on the backs of enchanted creatures. Its message of the value of courage, wit, and adventurousness makes it a perfect gift for anyone embarking on a journey, especially graduates of any age.

We will purchase this book once it comes out but in the meantime you can browse inside the book here.

Don’t you love Neil Gaiman’s voice?

And if you’ve ever wanted to ask Neil a question, there’s a good chance he’s answered it here in his website’s FAQ.

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