Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spiderwick Chronicles: Book vs. Movie! by DL Larson

If you're looking for a great family movie, hurry to the Spiderwick Chonicles before it disappears into that void where movies retire to. You'll be glad you did.

We had a girls day out recently and took in this awesome show. While the previews were rolling, my granddaughter, Alex, fidgeted about, pretty unusual for her, and after several attempts at questioning if anything was wrong, she finally asked, "Will the spiders be very big, Grammie?"

"Oh, baby, there are no spiders in the Spiderwick Chonicles." She patted my hand, smiling big, and I reminded her I didn't care for those many-legged creatures either. Soon we were snuggled in and enthralled with the story of fairies, magic, and the mysterious book of Arthur Spiderwick's, called the Field Guide. This field guide held important information; information the evil fairies wanted so they could reign destruction down on the land. The good faires were determined they would never succeed.

The movie people captured the book beautifully. I love it when they succeed at that.
I can't wait to see the movie again, and I will undoubtedly purchase the dvd when it comes out. We were in Spiderwick mania after seeing such a mind twisting adventure.

Days later I brought home Book One of the Spiderwick Chronicles. Eagerly my granddaughters and I started reading. We soon got caught up in the advenure of the Grace children. Reading this book aloud is a delight with its great description of the creepy old house, the mysterious creature living in the walls and the world of fairies. We squirmed and giggled, anxious to read another chapter.

We didn't stop there. We dragged out construction paper, scissors, glue and markers too. My sun porch has turned into a fairy wonderland. Small and large fairies flit about the windows above the many colored flower garden pasted to the windows. It's a beautiful spring showing if you don't look beyond the windows to the brown grass outside. Inside, stuff is happening.

The imagination of children is limitless and we have discussed the difference of the movie compared to the book. My girls realized the book gives so much more detail than the movie could. Score a big one for us book lovers!!! And as I judged my second round of contest entries, I mentioned this fact to the writers. Details, details, it is a vital part to every story. Without it, the reader loses interest. If this is a problem in your writing, read some kids action books. The settings are quickly described with precision and flare, and grab your attention immediately. They have to, kids won't plunder through pages of boring script. They move on.

I've often suggested this book series to parents. There's enough high adventure, gooey episodes and ugly creatures to capture the attention of any reluctant reader. Boys love this series, big guys, too. Tony DiTerlizzi is the author.

The only thing I would change is the title. I passed this book up for a long time because I didn't want to read about spiders. Silly, I know, but its title conjures up some pretty ugly scenarios for me. I wonder how many missed the movie for the same reason.

Well, I'm here to tell you it's safe, no spiders, only a few bugs and they are contained in jars. The high action is thrilling on the screen or in the book. Hope you don't miss it.

Til next time ~

DL Larson

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