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THE MINPINS by Roald Dahl


by Roald Dahl & illustrated by Patrick Benson

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-670-84168-4
Publisher: Viking

Disobeying his mother, Little Billy goes into the "Forest of Sin," where he is very nearly devoured by a fire-breathing monster. Just in time, he escapes up a tree, where he discovers a community of tiny people, the Minpins. The Minpins' homes, into which Billy can peer with one eye, remind him of the Queen's Doll House at Windsor Castle; they use their friends the birds for transport. When the Minpins explain that they, too, are being terrorized by the Red-Hot Smoke-Belching Gruncher, Little Billy devises a heroic plan: riding on a swan, he'll lure the monster into the lake (it can't see where it's going because of its own smoke). So he does, becoming a hero, and thereafter secretly visits his new friends. Typical Dahl: a childlike adventure with fantastical antagonists who have rib-tickling names, and a trite, airy moral ("Those who don't believe in magic will never find it"). Benson brings it all to life in his skillfully detailed art--crosshatched pen-and-ink plus cheery color. There are several dramatic double spreads involving the monster, plus beguiling minutiae of the Minpins' treetop life. The long text is suitable for reading aloud to younger children and will also entertain the late author's older fans. (Fiction/Picture book. 4-10)