By Charles de Lint
Place: Publisher & Year: Burton, MI: Subterranean Press, 2008
Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, short stories
Intended audience: “written for nieces, nephews, and the children of friends” (p. 10)
Number of pages: 64
Setting: Three stories are set in the woods; one is set in a neighborhood, and another along the sea shore
Time period: Contemporary
Description: Following a short introduction, “Kissing Frogs”, are five short magical tales – “What the Mouse Found”, “Gnomin’ in the Gloamin’”, “Oakey Bedokey”, “Maple Sugar”, and “Tip and the Lion”. (The limited edition – which is not what I read – also contains “The Songs of Timothy Tomtit”).
Illustrations: At the beginning of the first four stories is a picture of a stuffed creature who is one of the main characters in the story. These creatures were made by de Lint’s wife, Mary Ann Harris, and placed in an earthy setting prior to having their pictures taken. Fairies and butterflies also adorn the pages throughout the book.
Pacing: Moderate pacing combined with the short length of these stories, make this a very quick read.
Characterization: The stories are all told in third person and each contains at least one wonderfully magical character.
Frame: The introduction, “Kissing Frogs”, establishes the frame for this collection of stories. The stories are written in a classic fairy tale style.
Story line: Delightful stories which reawaken a sense of magic and wonder.
Fantasy fiction, Canadian.
Diana Wynne Jones
Personal notes: Like most of Charles de Lint’s work, I loved this book.
Other (themes, diversity, websites): Diversity – talking animals, gnomes, nature spirits