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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
20
Instructions
Format: Paperback|Change


on 8 November 2015
Fantastic book in itself, although I specifically bought this for teaching instructional texts - my class loved it and it inspired some brilliant "instructional fantasy stories".
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on 12 December 2014
Negative reviews aren't normally my thing, but I think fans of Gaiman and Vess's earlier collaborations deserve to know that this book is thin gruel indeed compared to their previous ventures into the realm of faerie.

Many of the same readers might already have the text of Instructions, which appears as a poem in Gaiman's short story collection Fragile Things. It's fine in and of itself, but it could only be considered a story in the loosest and most tenuous sense of that term.

I purchased this book hoping that it would be a storybook. Even at just 40 pages long, I have enough regard for the work of Gaiman and Vess to think them capable of weaving a bit of magic in that space. Unfortunately, despite the quality of the illustrations, this just didn't do it for me. The book didn't transport me into another world because there was - in my view, and maybe that reflects a lack of imagination on my part - not sufficient story to work with the pictures.

On the plus side, however, this slight disappointment has spurred me to dig out my old copies of Stardust, The Books of Magic and The Sandman, which are absolutely terrific. Timeless fairy tales for adults that are as good as anything ever produced in the genre. Gaiman's universe, as illustrated by Vess, is a truly wondrous place. Can't wait for their next full-scale collaboration.
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on 21 February 2016
A great book. The children loved it.
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on 26 November 2015
Speedy postage. Great book!
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on 29 May 2017
Lavishly illustrated and perfectly told, this poem using beloved faerie tale tropes as a guide to life is one of the most inspirational gifts you can give to anyone.
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on 8 February 2014
I used this book to teach Instructions to a Year 1 class. The children loved the illustrations, their magical quality (we had just done a topic on fantasy) and they enjoyed finding 'bossy' verbs, of which there are many! The only improvement I would make would be to make it bigger!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 April 2016
I love this, but my son didn't follow it at all. It's really wasted on young children (mine is 5).

It's not a story per se, but a series of instructions for the protagonist to follow taken from dozens of fairy stories - such as how to behave if you meet an animal on your journey do not look back, remember your manners (all lessons from various tales).

I found it hard to read aloud, getting the right tone, but it really is lovely to read on the page. It stirred up a lot of memories of half-forgotten fairy stories, morals and lessons, plots and characters.

Vess brings out the fairy tale nature of the book well, putting the feline hero into various scenes that conjure up stories.

I would recommend this for either older children and adults or teachers in primary schools to use with KS2 children. For pre-schoolers it will be confusing and not a successful bedtime read.
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on 31 December 2013
You might not get all of the references to the folktales and fairy stories but you will love the atmosphere created by the poem and delightfully supported by the illustrations.

My only reason to withhold the fifth star is that this edition was somewhat smaller in format than I had expected.
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on 7 August 2014
I teach students with special needs and used this with older children as a visual introduction to writing instructional texts. The fantasy creatures and settings also sparked ideas for creating their own computer games.
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on 26 April 2017
Just what I wanted.
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