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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 6 September 2015
I loved the cartoon Animals of Farthing Wood as a kid and this book did not disappoint.
It contains both a prequel, explaining why the woods were destroyed, and the first of many sequels.

The Adventure Begins was not adapted into the TV-show and is definitely worth a read if you're interested in the backstory for the forest itself.

In the Grip of Winter is the tale of the animals first few months in White Deer Park, and like the whole series deals with the harsh realities of nature and even contains a wild animal contemplating the advantages of domestication. Much of this is already covered by the cartoon but as with any adaptation events have been changed, and is still very much worth reading even from old fans of the show.

The one drawback of the book is that it doesn't actually contain The Animals of Farthing Wood, making it seem odd to new readers. If you have not read the first book, I recommend reading that before this one. Otherwise you'll be going from part 0 to part 2.
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on 2 November 2010
This edition of the book (which I own) has 2 novels. Farthing wood: The Adventure begins and also the sequel to the original Animals Of Farthing Wood book, In The Grip Of Winter.
I won't go into the details of the second book which has already been reviewed on here but suffice to say it is a 5 star read and well worth buying and a worthy follow up to the original Fathing Wood classic.
The first book in this collection attempts to tell the tale of the original Farthing Wood inhabitants some of whom we are led to believe are the ancestors of those who take the journey to White Deer Park. The destruction of the wood has just begun, causing concern for some of the residents. Also a concern to some is the cocky attitude of the otters who inhabit the stream. Jealousy ensues between the otters and the predators of the wood, mainly the foxes and weasels who are infuriated by the otters teasing and stealing of their food and a plan is designed to teach the otters a lesson. Little do they know that this will have far reaching consequences, not only for the otters but for the future of the wood itself.
Although enjoyable in its own right this is not a patch on the original Farthing Wood tales. The character development is really non existant, even the charcacters themselves are know by names such as Sleek Otter, Slow Otter, Lean Fox, Stout Fox etc which is a bit of a cop out on actually giving them the characteristics we have come to expect from a Dann novel and this is a major flaw of the book I feel. There are no classic characters here to chuckle at, oh for a Tawny Owl or an Adder!
The story itself neatly ties up the tale of how the animals come to be where they are at the start of the original book and is rather a sad affair as we follow the otters plight and the consequences of the animals revenge but I'm afraid it pales in comparison to the later Dann novels where characters as well as plots are equally important.
It also seems rather strange with this edition to have the prequel to Farthing Wood followed by the sequel and totally missing out the major novel so you will certainly need to buy that also if you wish to read the books in order. Overall The Adventure begins is slightly disappointing but worth buying if only to complete the set
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on 21 January 2013
This set includes a prequel to the Animal of Farthing Wood as well as the sequel. It would have made sense to include the Animals of Farthing Wood as well in this set but it doesn't seem to be the case. Nevertheless these stories are a delight to read for all Animal of Farthing Wood fans like myself.
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on 9 October 2009
It's a bit off for a Farthing Wood collection not to have the original journey, " Animals of Farthing Wood" in it. Surely they could have added that onto this volume. You have the prequal, the ancestors of the cast of the original book (like the Hobbit to Lord of the Rings) and the sequal where the animals are in White Deer Park but not the journey...
Just a heads up.
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on 12 January 2003
My niece had this book for Christmas has been reading it me, she loves the stories. The first Story in this book of two is a prequel to the animals of farthings wood and the second is about the animals settling into their new environment in the park. These stories are fun and you want to know whats going to happen next and we are learning about conservation at the same time ....
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on 25 October 2016
I'm a big fan of the TV series. After many years, I decided to complete the book. These books are a great return to childhood. I highly recommend each of them.
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on 29 September 2016
I really loved this and it gives an understanding of the animals dilemma
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on 23 June 2016
brilliant books.
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on 14 October 2016
IF YOU READ THIS BOOK IT WILL WAST YOUR TIME I HATE IT SO I AM GOING TO GET MY MONEY BACK IN A FEW WEEKS OF THIS YEAR AGO I WAS GOING THROUGH MY MIND AND SPIRIT IN THIS CASE IS THAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT LEAST TWO WEEKS AFTER ALL OVER IT
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on 14 November 2014
Daughter loved reading it and have purchased the next one.
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