Crook, Mackenzie: The Windvale Sprites (2011)

The Windvale Sprites - MacKenzie Crook

Mackenzie Crook has illustrated the story of The Windvale Sprites along with the cover illustration. His illustrations go perfectly with his story.

I picked this copy of The Windvale Sprites up at my library. Ragnhild, the fantasy-buff librarian, makes certain she keeps the fantasy/science fiction section well-stocked with books for all age groups. She seems to have a pretty good eye for what will appeal to people. Once again, she was correct where I was concerned.

Librarians are such wonderful and diverse creatures. We get to meet two of them in our story: Mrs. Fields and Mr. Trap. Both names are somehow appropriate (probably intentional). Mrs. Fields is an elderly, sweet, somewhat deaf woman who is willing to aid a boy with his odd queries. Mr. Trap, on the other hand, loves to trap people with his words and is quite sarcastic. He is the kind of person I would have very much liked to stick my tongue out at when I was Asa’s age. Asa definitely finds himself not at all fond of Mr. Trap.

Young Asa is the way I think children should be. You know, just a bit naughty, extremely curious and kind at heart.

(Asa) “scribbled a feeble lie on a piece of paper explaining to his parents where he hadn’t gone”

At this point I knew I would love the story about Asa, our young hunter of sprites. And I did. There is something magical about an author who knows just how much he can get away with when it comes to playing around with words.

Another thing I really liked about The Windvale Sprites was the sprites themselves. Like ravens and crows they love shiny things, they do not thrive in captivity and there is nothing sweet-looking about them (except perhaps their gossamer wings).

The Windvale Sprites left me with a happy feeling inside and a smile on my face.

If you listen to the sample below read by the author, you will get a sense of the story of The Windvale Sprites.


The Windvale Sprites on Faber & Faber Ltd.

Mackenzie Crook reading from The Windvale Sprites

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