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The Minpins Paperback – September 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (September 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142414743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142414743
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Someday someone will write a book that begins with a mother forbidding her child to enter the deep dark woods and ends with that child achieving incredible success without ever setting a toe in the forbidden forest. But not this book. Here, Billy's mom issues a few scary warnings about the woods to her son--"Beware! Beware! The Forest of Sin! None come out, but many go in!"--turns her back for a second, and the next thing you know the devil shows up and whispers something to Bobby about wild strawberries. Blammo! Guess where Billy goes--straight to the forbidden forest, of course. At this point, if you are reading the story aloud to your child, you may think there's a parable on the way. But just when you might expect to run into monsters named Lust, Avarice, and Three-Toed Sloth (okay, maybe not Lust), a real monster comes careening along and you realize that this story is just a fairy tale after all--and quite a lovely one at that.

The Minpins taps into the powerful, wonderful child's fantasy of discovering a hidden civilization of tiny folk that accepts and honors him or her. The very best part of this fairy tale is the denouement, where Billy receives the gift of nightly escape on the wings of a swan. One of Roald Dahl's only picture books--with fabulously crosshatched pen-and-ink illustrations by Patrick Benson--The Minpins is superb for reading aloud to the three- to eight-year-old set. And it culminates in a sentence or two of advice that your children just might remember for the rest of their lives. (Ages 3 to 8) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-- Little Billy, bored with being good, ignores his mother's admonition to stay out of The Forest of Sin where "none come out, but many go in." He succumbs to the Devil's invitation to explore the forest for himself. All is well until the boy hears the alarming sounds of a fire-breathing monster headed right for him. Luckily he discovers a tree of convenient size where, on climbing to its upper branches, he finds a whole village of miniature people. The Minpins are also afraid of being gobbled up by the Red-Hot Smoke-Belching Gruncher. The lad devises a plan to do away with the terrifying beast and is promised nightly flights on the back of a swan by the grateful Minpins. No longer confined to his dull home, Little Billy now discovers a world of wonders. The only adult mentioned is the boy's insensitive, doltish mother, while the protagonist himself is admirable and enterprising, true to the author's form. Nonetheless, one senses something of a kinder, gentler Dahl, who nudges his readers to become observers, for "the greatest secrets are always hidden in unlikely places." However, the religious overtones seem curiously out of place. Little Billy's name, too, may prove a bit precious for some readers. Benson's pen-and-ink crosshatched drawings with full-color washes are pleasing but not memorable, with the exception of the dramatic depictions of Billy and the swan. Although older readers will find the talepretty tame, the story-hour crowd may find it a pleasant diversion. --Phyllis G. Si dorsky, National Cathedral School, Washington, DC
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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We read it in two nights.
P. Smith
I think every one should have read it least one of Roald Dahl's books, like this one.
Julia (lee6002@bellsouth.net)
The suspense keeps building, and the details are fabulous.
Pleased customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Rooney on April 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
A rare picture book from Roald Dahl and a good introduction to his work. My six-year old was entranced. I especially loved the description of the Minpins and their homes. My son loved that a little boy was able to save the day and outsmart the nasty beast.

It is a bit longer than most picture books, so I would not recommend for younger kids. It is also a little scary in the beginning.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hedera Femme VINE VOICE on December 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
A short and cute picture book, The Minpins is one of Dahl's more younger-child-friendly stories. It features protagonist Billy, an adventurous and brave boy who enters the dangerous woods alone.

Billy's allies are little people that live in trees and climb about using green suction boots. His mother tells him not to venture into the woods, where children and others disappear, but he disobeys and goes. There, he helps the Minpins by killing the Gruncher monster. Like the story of Alice in Wonderland, he returns to the real world, but continues to go, flying on the back of a swan each night.

The pictures are sweet, the words Dahl invents are fun to say, and the imagery is fun.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book starts with a mother forbidding her son to enter the "Forest of Sin." Will he find monsters, friends or both? Many interesting things happen on the night adventures that young Billy takes. Does anyone know about them? This is Roald Dahl's only picture book. It has been beautifully illustrated by Patrick Benson who resides in England. Let this book take you on a trip with little people and an adventure you will not soon forget.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
My 6 year old loves this book! Brought it home from the library again and it was the first one she picked up. This is typical of Ronald Dahl's amazing imagination, the little people with homes inside the trees and using the birds to travel; it's wonderful! I would recommend this book for most children, though for some, the beast at the beginning may be a little scary. It's a great "read to" book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Smith on April 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I first started reading this one to my 7-year-old I was little concerned that it might give him nightmares - it starts off a bit scary. The devil whispers in the little boy's ear, he goes into the Forest of Sin, and then is chased by a terrifying monster who wants to eat him... but it eventually comes around and the little boy and the Minpins (the tiny people who inhabit the forest) eventually kill the terrifying monster rather easily. It's a very satisfying story for a 7-year-old boy (or a 40-year-old mom for that matter) it seems to have a little of everything and the illustrations are beautiful, too. Plus, I think it's just the right length. We read it in two nights.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book starts with a mother forbidding her son to enter the "Forest of Sin." Will he find monsters, friends or both? Many interesting things happen on the night adventures that young Billy takes. Does anyone know about them? This is Roald Dahl's only picture book. It has been beautifully illustrated by Patrick Benson who resides in England. Let this book take you on a trip with little people and an adventure you will not soon forget.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 31, 1998
Format: Hardcover
My third graders had just come in from our Halloween Parade to sit on the floor and listen to "The Minpins." I had 100% riveted attention as I read the story. This is not usually a day when such focus is possible. I am so glad that I chose to share "The Minpins" as part of our Halloween Day preparations!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Ramsden on December 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
We love this book. One of my daughters, who loves fantasy, asks us to read this to her about once a week. The story totally captures a childs imagination. A child will never look at the trees in their yard the same way again.
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