Odd and the Frost Giants Review – Norse Myth for Kids

Odd and the Frost Giants
A children’s fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman

score: *** outta five

“We won’t die,” said the bear, “because we can’t die here. But we’ll get hungry. And we’ll get more wild. More animal. It’s something that happens when you have taken on animal form. Stay in it too long and you become what you pretend to be. When Loki was a horse-“

“We don’t talk about that,” said the fox.

Another entry into kid’s fiction for Neil Gaiman, and another playful foray into mythology, Odd and the Frost Giants is about Odd, your mandatory plucky young hero cleverer than his years, and, well, some Frost Giants (of course!). Throw some boastful yet dimwitted gods and you’ve got yourself an amusing little yarn on your hands, but, admittedly, not much more than that. Read more of this post

The Scarecrow and his Servant Review – My Destiny Calls and I Go!

I only wrote my children’s literamature article a couple of hours ago, and already I’m a bit embarrassed by it. I think I muddled it up a bit in trying to get my intent across. Perhaps I’ll write a response to it some time, but in any case, here is a review of the book I had mentioned:

The Scarecrow and His Servant
A children’s fantasy novel by Phillip Pullman
score: ***** outta five

“And you know, you were quite right about my brain,” the Scarecrow said reassuringly. “I don’t miss it at all.”

What to do when you, an inanimate object, stuck in a muddy field, are suddenly gifted with life? When a chance lightning bolt grants you something so mysterious and complex? Why, seek adventure, of course!

What do you do when you meet such a creature? When you are a boy with no prospects and no family (thanks to the wonders of war), with nothing to him but his wits? Why, become his servant, what other choice do you have? Read more of this post

Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children?

Fairytales and Censoring Reality

Everyone is familiar (I hope) with the classical fairytales. They’ve been deconstructed, reconstructed, parodied, devoured, destroyed, homogenised and fed to us since their inception, but we always remember the basic, original concepts the best. Girl visits grandma, girl gets pre-empted by extremely shady wolf, grandma gets eaten, wolf gets stabbed in the gut and everyone leaves happy (except for the wolf). They are straightforward, they are often very dark, and they represent the simple aphorisms of our childhood, drilling into us what we should and should not do (in the last case, well, strangers are bad, kiddies, and don’t fucking wander around alone, kiddies) and telling an entertaining story along the way. Read more of this post