Saturday, September 02, 2006

You want Fries with That?

I don't know why, but for some reason, the name Ribbajack suggests a sandwich to me, rather than a monster. I could almost picture myself going to McDonalds and saying, "I'll take a Ribbajack, a small fries, and a large Coke." In actuality, Ribbajack is the title of a short story collection by Redwall author, Brian Jacques.

Like all of Jacques' books, Ribbajack is for children--this edition is listed as being for ages 9 and up on the back cover--but it can still be enjoyedd by adults. This book is in the tradition of his previous short story collection, Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales in that it too is a collection of horror stories for children, though only six in this case.

The first is "Ribbajack," is about a naughty little boy who hates everyone and summons a monster to get rid of an enemy. Then comes a smile and a wave, which is a fairly spooky ghost story about a girl who doesn't like her coat. "The All Ireland Champion Versus the Nye Add" is about a fisherman who tries to catch a mermaid. "The Mystery of Huma D'Este" is about a bully who runs into someone (or something) he can't bully. "Miggy Mags and the Malabar Sailor" is about a little girl, her pet mongoose, and her wicked uncle. "Rosie's Pet" is about a mean little girl who becomes a werewolf.

While I like the book, and all the stories are good, they aren't all great. "A Smile and a Wave" lacked a certain oomph, and I wasn't entirely satisfied with the ending of Rosie's Pet. Still I like the book enough to give it 4 and a half yo-yos.

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