Book Review – Tales of the Peculiar

TITLE: Tales of the Peculiar
AUTHOR: Ransom Riggs
ILLUSTRATOR: Andrew Davidson
FORMAT: Hardcover

Tales of the Peculiar is a companion book to the author’s Miss Peregrine series.  It is a collection of ten short stories, each led with a woodcut illustration.

So I’m going to start right off the bat and say that this is not meant to be part of the story that Riggs does for his trilogy.  It’s meant to be other stories from the same world.  Basically, fairy tales for peculiars.  As such, it takes place long before the trilogy and features no photographs, which we’ve come to want from Riggs.  That doesn’t make it bad at all, just takes a minute to get out of that mindset.


Here’s an overview of the stories.  Warning that although I tried to not spoil anything, you never know what slipped through.

The Splendid Cannibals
Travelers with money and a village of peculiars with the ability to regenerate limbs.

The Fork-Tongue Princess
A princess already promised, but her secret will make her a monster.  What’s a peculiar to do?

The First Ymbryne
She didn’t know she was a peculiar until she accidentally managed a special power – the first time loop.

The Woman Who Befriended Ghosts
A woman who had only ghosts as friends moves to a haunted house to make friends.

A chinese man who searches for his lost father on the open seas and finds a family secret.  They’re peculiar.

The Pigeons of St. Paul’s
Pigeons in London need a place to roost, so they talk in the ear of the best builder and make him build a cathedral.

The Girl Who Could Tame Nightmares
She used her powers to take away peoples nightmares, but was it a good idea?

The Locust
A weird boy with no friends befriends a bug and becomes one.

The Boy Who Could Hold Back the Sea
A boy with the power to hold back and control water currents shows his power and has to go into hiding.

The Tale of Cuthbert
Basically the origin story of Miss Wren’s Menagerie.  There are peculiar animals that need saving, a gentle giant willing to save them, only who will save him?


Okay, so I loved the story of the first loop.  The cannibals story was just silly, although one of the stronger ones in the book.  Really, you’re reading fairy tales for peculiars, so you’re going to get absurd stuff (even fairy tales for humans are absurd).  A few stories were weak, but that’s to be expected just by the nature of what everything was.

I loved the woodcuts, even though I was used to bizarre photos and expecting them – I wish they’d’ve found a way to throw in a couple (the area now, perhaps?) – but what was done totally worked for this type of a book so I’m not complaining.

In all, if you like the Peregrine books as I have (My review of book 1 is here) I think you should pick this up as well, so I’ll give it a 4/5 pages with a warning – if you weren’t into the Peregrine books, I don’t think you’ll like this one all that much.

Book Review – Celtic Cross Stitch

TITLE: Celtic Cross Stitch: Over 40 small, exciting and innovative projects

BY: Anne Orr & Leslie Clarke

FORMAT: Hard Cover


Celtic Cross Stitch is, obviously, a pattern book of celtic designs for cross stitching.

I chose to review it because I actually really liked this one.  It’s rare that I find a cross-stitch book that I want to make any of the stuff in, and I would be okay making several of these patterns.

Of course, there are a few clunkers (at one point, the pattern is literally swirls like you would draw when doodling, and a few don’t feel celtic-ey at all), but most of these are pretty decent.  I was a little concerned with the mustard yellow Aida cloth that they used for several of the designs, but for the most part, the patterns were nice, and the stitching was all done well, which is sadly, something I have to look for now.  I hate, HATE books where the stitcher screwed up or cut corners to make the examples and they look like a ten year old did them.  This actually looks like they’re done by somebody who knows what they’re doing, so yay!

With that said, if these are your type of thing, borrow the book from the library.  I don’t think any of these patterns are the type of thing that will make you want to buy yourself a copy.  4/5.

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