09 July 2010


by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Charles Vess

Allen and Unwin. Picture Book. Hardcover rrp $24.99

The cover of this wonderful children’s book will delight children and adults alike. There is immediately a sense of magic and mysterious beings.

Open the book and turn the pages, the illustrations continue to tug and tease. Neil Gaiman’s words cajole to entice you further within. The instructions may seem archaic at first but look harder and you will find answers to life’s mysteries and riddles.
“Do not be jealous of your sister:
know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from
        one’s lips as toads and frogs:
colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.”

Charles Vess’ illustrations are straight out of the Brothers Grimm. The wonderful visuals led me all over the place and Gaiman’s words showed me where to look deeper. Brilliant and stunning, Instructions will be a book that children will treasure for many years. Adults will find themselves reminiscing about the great stories of their own childhood.

Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book was reviewed in Issue 14 of The Reading Stack.



  1. It's an absolute ripper. As you say, there's a retro feel for adults and a delicious dose of magic for the kids.

  2. Your words express it completely. Thanks for the comment