Little Billy doesn't really believe his mother's stories about all the monsters living in the wood, so he is easily tempted to disobey her and go and see for himself. He doesn't find any Whangdoodles, Hornswoggles or vermicious Knigs, but the Gruncher who does chase him, billowing orange-red smoke, is even more terrifying. Billy finds this horrible Gruncher has been terrorising the other inhabitants of the wood for years- the Minpins, a tiny tree-dwelling people whose children are the size of matchsticks. But Little Billy doesn't want to spend the rest of his life up a tree, so he bravely offers to lead the Gruncher away and to his death, thus freeing the grateful Min Pins from his tyranny.
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Someday someone will write a book that begins with a mother forbidding her child to enter the deep dark woods and ends with that child achieving incredible success without ever setting a toe in the forbidden forest. But not this book. Here, Billy's mom issues a few scary warnings about the woods to her son--"Beware! Beware! The Forest of Sin! None come out, but many go in!"--turns her back for a second, and the next thing you know the devil shows up and whispers something to Bobby about wild strawberries. Blammo! Guess where Billy goes--straight to the forbidden forest, of course. At this point, if you are reading the story aloud to your child, you may think there's a parable on the way. But just when you might expect to run into monsters named Lust, Avarice and Three-Toed Sloth (okay, maybe not Lust), a real monster comes careening along and you realize that this story is just a fairy tale after all--and quite a lovely one at that.
The Minpins taps into the powerful, wonderful child's fantasy of discovering a hidden civilization of tiny folk that accepts and honours him or her. The very best part of this fairy tale is the denouement, where Billy receives the gift of nightly escape on the wings of a swan. One of Roald Dahl's only picture books--with fabulously crosshatched pen-and-ink illustrations by Patrick Benson--The Minpins is superb for reading aloud to children. And it culminates in a sentence or two of advice that your children just might remember for the rest of their lives. (Ages 3 to 8)Review:
"An endearing story." -"Sunday Times"
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Book Description Puffin Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140568212