A few years ago, this series was quite popular but it’s taken me a while to get on the train. Though I’m glad I finally did! This short series follows Jared and his siblings as they explore the ancient house they just moved into and invigilate the forest around them. The creatures that live in their surroundings are not what you’d call normal; they’re faeries. Well some of them are, some goblins, elves, trolls, even mermaids.
This is the first book in the series, where the family moves into their distant relative’s old house and Jared discovers a leather-bound book with a warning. It says whatever you do, do not read this book. Jared, being the family rebel, reads it. Inside is a field guide, showing the author’s research on magical creatures that inhabit our world.
The field guide isn’t all that came with the house. Thimbletack is the house brownie and has lived in the house for decades, taking care of it and those that live there. Inadvertently the Grace family have insulted him. He takes revenge on them in many ways while the family blames Jared. I feel very sorry Jared, being constantly blamed for stuff who didn’t know would be hard. But then again, he was being a jerk so it’s a fair assumption. I know moving to another town would be hard but there’s no need to take it out on your family, especially your siblings who are in the same boat you are! Desperate to solve the problem, Jared researching in the book and tries to appease Thimbletack.
I love Jared’s brother, Simon. He’s so sweet and completely obsessed with any animal. He has several and constantly asks his mother to let him keep whatever new creature he’s found. I can’t wait to see him explore this world (and try to adopt everything). He’s my favourite! Malory is your typical older sister, wants to do her own thing and blames her younger brothers – mainly Jared – for everything. But I can tell her interest and skill in fencing is seriously going to get them out of some tricky situations in the future.
I loved this book. The close look at all the magical creatures was a real favourite of mine. The illustrations were beautiful, simple and sketchy but done such amazing skill! Tony DiTerlizzi has become one of my favourite artists thanks to his works on The Spiderwick Chronicles. The only problem with this book was that it was too short, I wanted more! I give it a 4/5 and am keen to read more.