Sunday, April 4, 2010

Book Review: Amulet

These books are FDPG's latest obsession. She loves these books. We bought the first one at Costco, almost as an afterthought, because it was a) lovely to look at and hold, and b) it was cheap. Call me shallow I am never averse to a cheap and beautiful book. Even better, it's delightfully floppy to hold. All in all, an amazing package.

This is the first book: It's called The Stonekeeper. It's your usual 'children whose mother has been kidnapped and they have to win her back from bad things/people/worlds and perform all sorts of heroic deeds along the way' kind of story. It's a bit disjointed in the telling, with all kinds of plots twists and characters and it can get slightly confusing, but don't let that sway you; this is a truly wonderful and original piece of storytelling, despite its flaws. My sense was that this is a first novel (although I don't think it is) and the author, the very clever Kazu Kibuishi, is just warming up. According to the fellow at our local Comic Shop, Mr Kibuishi is young and just starting out. It shows, but it doesn't matter, if you get my meaning.

Here is the second book in the series: The Stonekeeper's Curse. What made us buy this one, nay, compelled us to buy it, even though Costco had since sold out of them and we had to hunt around in the local bookshops, was the last scene in the first book. It's like something out of a Miyazaki movie.

See? Is that not a great shot? Don't you want to know what happens next?

So did we. In fact, I think FDPG might actually have gasped when she came to this page. And then put it down on the coffee table with a bit of a bang. And a sigh. And a frown. FDPG is not one for cliffhangers.

So take a glance at these books next time you pass them by. They are fun and weird and dramatic and creative and oh-so-artistic.

It's like discovering a hidden cache of material from this fellow:



Andrea said...

here's an unrelated comment... weirdly I got your comment asking about chickens in my e-mail but it has not yet appeared on my blog... And I don't know how to e-mail people directly from the comments they leave...

Anyways,here is a loooong comment on your completely unrelated post. Feel free to not post it to your blog ;).

For types: I like the heritage breeds - they have longer lives and continue to lay over their life times and they have been bred to value characteristics like broodiness, calmness and ease of handling. I have Buff Orpingtons, Americaunas and Silver Laced Wyandottes. My rooster is a Buff and I am hatching more of them to add to my flock. Buff Orpingtons lay brown eggs. Wyandottes lay a cream egg and Americaunas lay blue/green eggs. I also have one danish leghorn who I dislike greatly as she is very, very skittish and high strung. The rest are all happy, easy, calm chickens that are easy to make friends with.

Google chicken tractor or city chickens and you will find many easy ideas for how to house a few chickens in your yard. It is quite easy. I'm not handy and I have built myself 2 chicken tractors that I use for raising chicks and meat birds.

They are not a lot of labour, really. Every day you fill up their food and water once. You could probably get big waterers and feeders and only do it once every other day, even. And then you move your portable coop once a week. That is assuming that you have 6 or less chickens which should get you 4 - 5 eggs on most days.

They are definitely a LOT quieter than dogs! My neighbours dogs wake us up often. I have never been woken up by a chicken in my coop. If you have a way of shutting them in at night, they won't make much noise until you let them out in the morning. Especially if you don't have a rooster which you often aren't allowed to have in the city. Hens don't really make a lot of noise unless there is danger. Although sometimes they like to pretend there is danger... but still it is much less noise than your average dog.

I really don't think chickens are a lot of work but they are a lot of fun and once Richard has the eggs for breakfast, there will be no turning back!

Mrs. Deeply Suburban said...

I was going to say, It's only a tiny step to spending every waking moment reading Manga--just ask Panda. I"m a little baffled, but at least she is reading LOTR at the same time.

As for chickens, I always used to tease Mr. D*S about wanting to raise them. Now that I've seen Food Inc and lived in (hell) suburbia I'm beginning to see the light. Sheila, I'll be over for breakfast when you start you chicken adventure!

Mrs. Deeply Suburban said...

Oooo, just saw a magazine called "Chickens" at Shoppers. Not in the present budget though.

sheila said...

Thanks, Andrea! I will tell Richard these things. We'll see how it goes. He seems to think that we will be jetting off the Europe every 5 minutes in the near future, and having chickens will cramp our style. Irrational men.

Mrs. DS, methinks you are egging me on. I never knew Mr DS wanted them! What does Panda think of that idea?

My plan is to get my dad to help me build the coop, then get only 4 chickens. That's little enough not to make a big load of work, and enough to get some eggs every day. And heck, I'll even throw in a latté for breakfast when you're here!

Sarah N. said...

I saw the first book in this series at the library after reading your review. When I showed it to my daughter she grabbed it immediately and stuck it in her bag. In the last 3 days, she's read it three times. I just ordered book 1 and 2 for her last night.

We have 6 backyard chickens that we share with a neighbor (lest either of us jet off to Europe suddenly and be unable to care for them). After the initial coop building and taking care of them as babies stage, they are very little work. We have 2 Buffs, 2 Australorps, and 2 Easter Eggers. All of them are great layers.