Pratchett’s first children’s book has finally crossed the pond, 42 years after its initial publication and 21 years after its second, revised edition (which this edition mostly matches).
Before there was the Discworld, there was the Carpet. It’s a world, if you’re microscopically small, and where there’s a world there’s the possibility of adventure, magic and a bit of philosophizing. Deep in the Carpet, a small tribe finds itself drawn into a large story when Fray (a natural phenomenon that astute readers may suspect is a vacuum) destroys their village and mouls riding snarg-back attack. Led by chieftain Glurk (“He’s a man of few words, and he doesn’t know what either of them means”), his younger brother Snibril, and Pismire, a shaman who believes in the power of positive thinking and deduction more than magic, the Munrungs find themselves teaming up with a dark, mysterious wanderer and a small (even by their standards) but feisty king to save all of civilization. Pratchett’s early foray into using humor and fantasy as a lens by which to examine the absurdities of the world may hold few surprises for his loyal legions, but it’s the perfect starting place for young readers; seasoned Pratchett fans will just revel in his wit, his subversion of tropes and his sense of humanity. An addendum contains the original 1960s text.
Small in scale but large in pleasure. (author’s note; illustrations not seen) (Fantasy. 9 & up)