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Instructions Hardcover – April 27, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
This will be classified as a "children's book," and it is, but it's also an adult's book and a reader's book; something that I expect will charm anyone who's ever read a fairy tale.
"Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat
However, if any creature tells you that it hungers,
If it tells you that it is dirty,
If it cries to you that it hurts,
if you can,
ease its pain."
If you're a Gaiman fan like myself, this is a must-have for your collection.
"Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before. Say please before you open the latch, go through, and walk down the path." Gaiman follows a cat-man in vaguely medieval clothes as he follows the various instructions. Obviously he starts off going through a mysterious door in a stone wall, which leads him into a world of ogres, palaces, wild woods, magic wells, princesses and red dragons.
Moreover, he gives you tips on the proper places to go and what you should do when you get there. For instance, he informs you what giant animals you are going to ride, what you shouldn't do (example: touch an imp doorknocker), and precisely what to say to whomever you meet.
Technically "Instructions" is a children's picture book, but it feels more like a whimsical poem with equally charming illustrations. Gaiman manages to make you feel like you wandered into a slightly tongue-in-cheek fairy tale and are just an observer rather than a full participant. It's a little like he's taking you by the hand and showing you the most interesting sights of the Fairy Tale World -- including some of the darker edges, like a haunted wood full of imps, or the incarnations of the year's months.
And Charles Vess' illustrations really give the book a magical air -- lots of gnarled trees, crows, clinging flowering vines, floating mists, green tinged forests and golden skies.Read more ›
I read it about once a week. It's a nice reminder of what's important when the outside world wants all your attention, energy, and focus. The artwork is outstanding.
I bought a copy for a baby shower for the son of my niece. I intend to make it a tradition for all my grand nephews and nieces.
I think this is truly a special book for kids, but probably even more so for adults. Here's hoping it becomes a graduation classic, a la "Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I work at an Elementary school, and all the teachers LOVE this book. Truly a great message for young readers, with brilliant illustrations. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Eric Brune
My rating of 4 stars is my attempt to rate it on its own (in a void). However, it is not in a void: it is referential to other of Gaiman's works. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Adrian E. Fields
I love trying to figure out what other stories he is referencing.Published 4 months ago by Leslie D Bradley
I would categorize this story/poem as meta-fiction setting in a familiar fantasy wold. Great illustrations. Perfect book for both children and adult! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Magical Potato (a.k.a. Mahou Shousho)
excellent book.. arrived quickly. My husband loves to read it to our daughter.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Another birthday present for my sister who loves Neil Gaiman. So does her 8 year old grandson. They were thrilled.Published 6 months ago by Janet Patterson
It is Gaiman, what else can you say? You will not be disappointed!
Great story! Don't love the illustrations, but I adore the book so much I can overlook itPublished 8 months ago by Molly
I got four of these this year - three for graduation presents and one for a children's sermon at church (Sorry, Neil.) I had purchased over ten in the past for similar purposes. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Sharon L. Groblicki