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Care and Feeding of Sprites

Review

Care and Feeding of Sprites

The newest addition to the popular Spiderwick Chronicles series is a beautifully illustrated handbook containing everything a sprite owner needs to keep a faerie pet happy and healthy. It begins with a letter from one of the main (human) characters in the series, Simon Grace. Simon has joined the International Sprite League to learn about raising and showing sprites, and he requests the Spiderwick authors --- Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black --- to put together a handbook on how to keep sprites for pets. This book is the result.

CARE AND FEEDING OF SPRITES cautions humans who are considering sprite ownership not to attempt it unless they have gained the ability to see faeries. There are other things to keep in mind, such as how to acquire the sprite, where the sprite will be kept, and how to ensure that the sprite is fed well and exercised adequately. Luckily, all those topics are covered here, beginning with a detailed anatomy of the sprite, which labels all the parts of the tiny faeries.

As anyone who has picked out a dog or cat can attest, choosing the right pet for yourself and your family can be a big responsibility. This handbook guides potential sprite owners into considering what qualities to look for (such as bright eyes and the ability to fly), as well as how much time the owner can care for the sprite. It strongly suggests that humans either buy a sprite from an honest dealer or catch one themselves.

It also covers an important topic: what is not a sprite. Evidently, an unwary human hoping to gain a sprite pet may be fooled and instead keep a goblin, pixy or will-o'-the-wisp. So sprite buyer, beware!

Readers will be fascinated to learn all about the housing, feeding, clothing, grooming and entertaining needs of sprites. A sprite's cage must be both comfortable and secure in order to keep the tiny faerie from escaping. Who knew that human food is not very healthy for sprites? Instead, they should feast upon such victuals as acorns and clover. Also good to know: sprites love music, so it's an excellent idea to keep a radio near their cages. And sprites can make their own clothing from leaves, bark and flowers if a savvy owner provides these materials.

CARE AND FEEDING OF SPRITES is truly delightful, and will appeal to faerie enthusiasts of every age as well as to fans of The Spiderwick Chronicles. The book's colored illustrations of the many different types of sprites are glorious; the cover unfolds into a beautiful poster titled "Representative Sprite Species of the World." I appreciated the humorous tidbits, particularly a very brief chapter on how to tell which gender your sprite is (which made me laugh out loud) and drawings depicting how to interpret your sprite's moods (ditto). Highly recommended!

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on December 26, 2006

Care and Feeding of Sprites
by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

  • Publication Date: December 26, 2006
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1416927573
  • ISBN-13: 9781416927570