Instructions by Neil Gaiman

4 stars Children’s

I had to read this book twice to fully appreciate it. The first time through, I think I got half the messages that this book wanted me to get. It also a book that I couldn’t rush through but I had to stop and fully absorb what I read on each page. The illustrations stopped me in my tracks a few times, as I thought they really didn’t match what I thought should go with the words on the page nevertheless, I enjoyed what I read. This book to me was a words-of-wisdom book as each page(s) was about making your way in the world.

The illustrations were just as great as the words in this book. They were fun to look at as they contained a lot of detail and there was the fantasy aspect of them. How can you go wrong with trolls, cats, and beasts? Written by Neil Gaiman, this is what brought me to pick up this one.

Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Brothers

5 stars Children’s

Finn is remembering the time that he spent with his grandfather as he looks out his bedroom window admiring the sea, today would have been grandpa’s 90th birthday.  Finn remembers the sound of Grandpa’s voice as he told him stories of a faraway place where the ocean would meet the sky. Today, Finn decides that he’s going to make a boat. He’s making this boat based on the plans that he used to make with his grandpa, for the journey they would take together.

Little Finn ends up falling asleep while making the boat and he has the most amazing journey. Whisked away on his boat, Finn is immediately met by a large, golden fish. This is truly a magical world, as this gigantic fish offers to show Finn the faraway place his grandfather had talked about, if he would follow him.

As they travel, there are some amazing sights but suddenly, Finn sees something spectacular and he’s sure that he’s found what his grandpa has been talking about.  This has to be, where the ocean meets the sky!

This was a terrific book and the illustrations made it feel dreamy. I read it slowly, as to take in all the details of the illustrations, before moving on.   I absolutely loved the illustrations, as they added a depth to the story and the sense of adventure.  I would have loved to know what grandfather told Finn about this magical world for when I flipped a page of this book, I was met with the lines, “But then Finn’s eyes filled with wonder.  Had he finally reached the place of his grandfather’s story?” and these lines were after Finn had already traveled awhile and been treated to some wonderful sights (at least in my mind). So, what exactly did his grandfather tell him about this magical place? How did Finn know that what Finn saw before, was not it?

Finn’s magical journey continues on (not going to spoil it for you) and I feel the illustrations become more impressive. The ending was super sweet too! This is another impressive children’s book from The Fan Brothers.