Making this poem into a picture book was pure genius, especially with illustrations by Vess. Gaiman takes one fairy tale and folk tale image after another and offers them up as instructions for your journey (in life, reading and magic). The book follows the journey of a cat-like creature who travels through a door into a strange world of myth and whimsy. Readers, young and old, will be charmed by beloved motifs, surprised by familiar yet strange moments, and ultimately completely satisfied as the journey comes full circle.
Gaiman’s poem reveals why he is such a beloved storyteller as he weaves together giants, dragons, wolves, toads and gems into a book that is about story, myth and our lives as well. Vess’s art adds greatly to the child-appeal of the poem, offering a vintage, classic fairy tale feel.
Highly recommended, this book will be best appreciated by readers who know about story and tales, because page after page they will be visiting beloved moments from books and stories. Get this into the hands of middle school kids who love to read, they will understand it, appreciate it, and let it guide them forward.
Appropriate for a very wide range of ages.
Check out this online version of the book read by Neil Gaiman from HarperKids:
Reviewed from library copy.