THE RIBBAJACK by Brian Jacques


and Other Curious Yarns
Age Range: 12 - 14
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Jacques turns his storytelling talents from the world of animal fantasy to the sphere of human and animal monsters in this collection of six weird tales. The stories incorporate a variety of horror and occult tropes and/or mythological characters, e.g., conjuring gone wrong in “The Ribbajack,” a malevolent ghost in “A Smile and a Wave,” naiads in “The All Ireland Champion and the Nye Add,” a paralyzing visit from an ancient Greek in Huma D’Este, and werewolves in “Rosie’s Pet.” Sly humor and suspenseful plotting will keep readers’ interest engaged. Short poems introduce each story and an omniscient narrator leads the reader adeptly to the (mostly) surprise endings. Jacques’s leisurely approach to narrative works better at a longer length when he uses fewer literary shortcuts (the stereotype British colonial gent, the vaudeville Irish peasant), while his rendering of dialect jars less in his animal fantasies. Lovers of the Redwall and Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series will want to read these stories, which will appeal most strongly to Jacques’s fans. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-399-24220-1
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2004


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