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Pip and the Twilight Seekers: A Spindlewood Tale (The Spindlewood Tales) Hardcover – March 1, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-This book continues the adventures of Pip, Toad, and Frankie after their narrow escape from the child-snatching creatures of the Spindlewood forest. But they aren't out of the woods yet, because they must still be wary of Jarvis, the two-faced city warden. He captures children under the auspices of protecting them but then sells them to the forest creatures. The plucky three dart from hideout to hideout, trying to stay one step ahead of Jarvis-a task made increasingly difficult after he acquires a clairvoyant wooden figurine. Pip and his friends must be creative and daring in order to shake their dreadful circumstances, and this mindset spurs a risky incognito foray into the Spindlewood forest to rescue the kidnapped children. There's a frantic scramble at the end as the children narrowly make it to the relative safety of a deserted bakery. Still, Jarvis and the forest creatures are lurking, thus setting the stage for the concluding entry in the trilogy. Finely wrought black-and-white illustrations that evoke the works of Tim Burton and Edward Gorey are the best part of this book. The story is of the lackluster, dime-a-dozen variety, and there isn't quite enough background laid out for those who haven't read the first book. Jarvis is too one-dimensional to be an interesting villain, and the children are darting around so much that there isn't much opportunity for their character development.-Amy Holland, Irondequoit Public Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A pacy read, which will enthral young readers who are just learning how wonderful independent reading is -- and this series won't disappoint Parents In Touch Praise for the Something Wickedly Weird series: 'Engagingly illustrated ... cheerful, fast-moving romp.' Carousel 'From the moment they claw their way out of a graveyard you know you are onto a winner.' Publishing News 'Fast-paced and accompanied by Mould's own dark illustrations, The Wooden Mile is a riveting read for newly independent readers.' Bookfest 'A splendid mix of Gothic horror and cartoon-style fun.' Bookbag A pacy read, which will enthrall young readers who are just learning how wonderful independent reading is - and this series won't disappoint! parentsintouch.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The feel of the setting is vaguely Victorian, and others have rightly observed that this series has very much of the air of a lighter, middle grade Dickens tale. The children's situation is grim, but there is always an element of hopefulness that with pluck and luck they will escape their condition and maybe even prevail in the battle against the forest dwellers. So, you have small adventures focused on the kids' hiding out, and big adventures as the conflict between the Hollow and the Spindlewood Forest plays itself out.
Apart from the appropriately scary atmosphere, the strong suits in this book are the wonderful interactions among the kids and the generally high quality of the writing. As to the kids, they are allowed to have very distinct personalities, with stronger and weaker features and abilities, but they form a fine team. Some of their quiet discussions while hiding and excited exchanges while fleeing are touching and bracing. For a book that zips along there is surprising depth and appeal here. There is also humor and backbone and spirit.
This is complemented by very engaging and accomplished writing. While not over the top or showy, the author does turn some nice phrases and crafts some economical but evocative descriptive passages that are quite satisfying. There are nice little details and grace notes that really elevate the "literary" quality of the book. This is helped considerably by the author's illustrations, which are both creepy and expressive.
So, a very solid and attention holding effort with some nice rewards, either as a read to or a read with or a read alone for a confident early reader. This was a very nice find.
Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
*I received a copy of this book for review - all opinions are my own*