The Spiderwick Chronicles: Notebook For Fantastical Observations, by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black (Simon and Schuster, 2005)

Appearing as a supplement to Black and DiTerlizzi’s excellent Spiderwick Chronicles series, this lovely little hardbound notebook is a potpourri of imaginative explorations based on the material introduced in the books. Each “section” is prefaced with a mini-essay regarding some child’s first or second-hand experience with various mythological creatures, including goblins, dwarves, elves, and brownies. Then there’s room to paste photos of said creatures, or to draw your own renditions of them. Other pages have lists (everything from “Things I’ve Cut Up To See What’s Inside Them” to “Ideas I Have In Bed” to “Riddles To Outwit a Troll.”) There’s lots of room in here for drawing and sketching, or chronicling one’s experiences with the supernatural, or drawing maps where the things of Faerie might be found.

Obviously, there’s no real plot to this. But as a supplement to the series, it’s extremely well-done, with lots of ways for the owner to express themselves and stretch their own imagination. Add to this the delightfully whimsical artwork of Tony DiTerlizzi, and the solid construction, and you have the perfect addition to the Spiderwick Chronicles. It’ll look great next to the series on the bookshelf. I highly recommend it just because I find it charming and entertaining, and wholly in the spirit of the original series.

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