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on September 6, 2001
Everyone should own this book - it is utterly irresistable! It has magical characters, magnificent finely drawn illustrations, and presents an overall philosophy of life that we could all learn lessons from. Please don't be fooled into thinking that it is just a children's book - it is a wonderful addition to any library.
It has a believable and detailed discussion of the food is are most loved by gnomes, how they raise their children, when they marry, where they live, what sorts of pets they have (cute mice in little baskets!) and how they tend to animals in the wild. The section which shows a cut away of their house is worth the purchase price alone - the imagination and thought that has gone into this book is amazing.
So if you want a little whimsy in your library, or on your coffee table, this is the book for you. If you want a book with magnificently detailed ilustrations, this is a book for you. Overall I think it is a book for everyone who is young at heart, or who likes a little magic in their everyday lives.
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on March 11, 2003
In 1976 a delightful book was published in the Netherlands. It was titled "Leven en werken van de Kabouter". Luckily for us, the Abrams publishing company found this book and translated it to the english version, titled "Gnomes", in 1977. Twenty five years later, a special edition has been released to the public.
For the art lover, this book is filled with wonderful illustrations! It was illustrated by Rien Poortvliet, and I will be doing an article on him later, for those who are interested.
This book is a must have for any fantasy lover. It is formatted as a diary of Gnome facts and sightings. Many of the illustrations are accompanied by hand-written notes. The book covers all aspects of Gnome life, from birth to marriage, and on to death. Each subject is carefully organized, and written about fully!
The book also briefly covers other mythological figures, of a more sinister nature. They discuss the conection that gnomes have with these creatures of darkness.
At the end of the book are a few fairy tales about gnomes, these brought back many fond memories of my father reading them to me before bed time!
One small note of caution; there is some nudity, and some graphic images of injuries, so I would not reccommend this book for small children. Parents, use your own judgement and preview before purchasing!
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on May 18, 2007
I was enchanted when I first pored over this as a six-year-old, and am equally enchanted today, 30 years later. The illustrations and writing are not only timeless, but ageless as well... I suspect I will be equally moved 30 years hence!
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This book is charmingly written and exquisitely illustrated. It takes the reader deep into the world of the Gnomes, tiny people no more than 5 inches tall that are found all over the world, but rarely ever seen by man. The habits, and history of the Gnomes are also detailed. Find out how old Gnomes live to be, what a Snotgurgle is and why Gnomes avoid trolls at all cost. You will be delighted and amazed by Gnomes and you might even begin to look for them yourself.
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VINE VOICEon January 4, 2008
This isn't a book that would normally make its way into my reading pile but I am glad it did. I remember growing up and watching a show called David the Gnome and this book helped my to capture a little bit of my lost youth.

It is wonderfully written and illustrated. The descriptions are so well written and so detailed that you shouldn't be surprised to find yourself absently staring at your own garden trying to capture a glimpse of the Gnomes yourself. This is a great read and would make a wonderful present for yourself or someone you know looking to add just a little bit of magic to their lives.
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on April 30, 2007
This book is fabulous. It has an in depth background about gnomes and the illustration is amazing! I've picked it up so many times and learned something new each time. After reading it I had to bring some gnomes home to hang out around the house. I do see little things they work on around the yard he-he. We've passed the book all around to friends and family to look through and enjoy.
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on March 1, 2006
I was first introduced to this book as a young child. It was one of my grandma's coffee table books. I poured over page after page of the amazing illustrations. I looked at it so much, my grandma eventually gave the book to me. This book actually makes you believe in gnomes.
In addition to the awesome pictures, this book covers everything on gnomes and I mean everything...anatomy, physiology, medicine, transportation, family life, types of gnomes and where they live...and much, much more. My favorite part is the illustration of the house. This is a great book for children, for the young at heart, and for those interested in "imaginary" beings.

**FYI, there are pictures of naked gnomes, so you may want to look through this book before allowing young children to see it. **
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on August 3, 2006
This delightful book has been a wonderful resource to my family over the years. It has charmed all six of my children when moping in bed because of sickness, and is now loaned out to grand-children. It doesn't sit on the shelves with the other books; and visitors invariably pick it up and flip through it - then need to have it torn from their grasp to come and sit up to table.

I think the most extraordinary thing about it is that it has no age range - it really is for anyone and everyone......
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on October 14, 2015
This is a delightful coffee table book, full of tongue in cheek humor. It might even be readable fare for kids. But you will have to skip over a page or two. For instance, I didn't want to say that it has sexual context, because honestly it doesn't. But my mother-in-law would have been terribly insulted by a picture of a naked gnome or two, especially a naked lady with exposed breasts (come where the feeding of infants gnomes and physiology of gnomes is humorously discussed. Everything in this is humorous. If you have friends who into gnomes in their yards decor, then this would be a great gift. The art is on every single page is the book discusses every conceivable subject you could ever think of. My favorite chapter was on relationships with other animals. It's a large and heavy book. I would tell you the number of pages, but the authors didn't bother to number them.
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on November 26, 2015
A classic. I have loved this imagery since I was a child and finally bought if for my daughter. She is fascinated and loving the 'behind the scenes' of how Gnomes live. Very much an encyclopedia, there is no hint that it is fiction. Gorgeous art and wonderfully rich story telling. There is a hint of gnome bum cheek in one and Gnome boobs in another drawing. Not sexualized, just showing the early form of gnomes, very much like a National Geographic or true encyclopedia. Not an issue here, just sharing. A beautiful book, do get the hadcover!
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