I’m super excited to be part of a blog tour featuring Brandon Mull’s new release, The Caretaker’s Guide to Fablehaven. My son and I are currently choral reading (both out loud, together) the Fablehaven series as a fun way to help bump his reading level. Imagine my delight when I received an invitation to preview the new guide! I said yes immediately.
Let me state right away that this is not an addition to the plot. The series is completed and remains unchanged. No, this is a compilation of creatures, artifacts, locations, etc. that feature in the series, all neatly described and indexed. It’s designed to assist current and future caretakers of the Fablehaven with their awesome task, and the very first sentence includes the reader among this important audience. (“If you are in possession of this book you are assumed to be the caretaker or an apprentice caretaker of Fablehaven.”)
This could be a sterile list, but it’s sprinkled with bits of humor, like when the satyrs or Seth and Kendra handwrite notes (arguments) in the margins. It also includes bits of history, observations and wise quotes from characters, and beautiful illustrations of mystical creatures. Some are taped or paperclipped into the book (via illustration, of course) to give it a feeling of use. It’s very personal–directed at the reader–and makes a handy reference when reading the series. It’s very well done, but be warned. The guide does bluntly state some surprises that take a long time to develop in the story text (such as Raxtus’s origins, or the revelation of the artifacts and their locations). Personally, I’m glad I read it AFTER I finished the series, so as not to give away any of those fun discoveries in the text. (I’m rereading the series with my son–for the third time!)
As an adult, I’m not really into “extras” such as this. But kids immerse themselves in a story far differently than adults. Dearly loved tales become part of their experience, part of their identily. They own them. And they love extras! A guide addressed to them? I can totally see kids eating this up. If you have one of those child Fablehaven enthusiasts, might I remind you that Christmas will soon be upon us? Perfect gift!
In closing, let me mention a fun fact that was included in the original email asking me to join the tour. “The book is also a springboard to the Fablehaven sequel series, Dragonwatch (releasing Fall 2016) and features clues to the characters and creatures fans will find in the upcoming books.” Just letting you know, there are more great Fablehave stories yet to come!
The Caretaker’s Guide to Fablehaven
Written by Brandon Mull and Illustrations by Brandon Dorman
Release Date: October 13, 2015
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven and Beyonders series, travels the country visiting schools, promoting literacy, and sharing his message that “Imagination Can Take You Places.”
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
Brandon Dorman is the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller The Wizard. His work has appeared in childrens books and on numerous covers, including the Fablehaven series and The Candy Shop War series.