Stopping for a Spell

Stopping for a Spell

by Diana Wynne Jones, Mark Zug
     
 

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In three wild and wacky tales, find out what can happen when...

...An old armchair that you've finally decided to get rid of comes to life -- and has a definite attitude. It thinks it can rule the entire household!

...Not one, but four grannies come to take care of you and your stepsister. You manage to work some magic, and are granted three

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Overview

In three wild and wacky tales, find out what can happen when...

...An old armchair that you've finally decided to get rid of comes to life -- and has a definite attitude. It thinks it can rule the entire household!

...Not one, but four grannies come to take care of you and your stepsister. You manage to work some magic, and are granted three wishes -- but soon fear you may get what you wished for!

...The rudest uninvited house guest comes to visit -- and won't leave! He insults every person who comes his way. But when he starts in on the furniture, that's the last straw. Even the furniture thinks so!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Troublesome houseguests overstay their welcome in Stopping for a Spell (1993) by Diana Wynne Jones, including an unruly armchair in "Chair Person," monstrous matriarchs in "The Four Grannies" and a rude old friend in "Who Got Rid of Angus Flint?" Of the original, PW noted, "These three stories brim with the wry takes on everyday situations that have made Jones's novels so howlingly funny." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in a contemporary England that is only slightly beset by enchantments, these three stories brim with the wry takes on everyday situations and the marvelous slapstick wizardry that have made Jones's novels ( The Ogre Downstairs ) so howlingly funny. In ``Chair Person,'' a chance encounter with a genuine magic kit brings gloriously grumpy life to ``an armchair with a sofa opinion of itself.'' Armed with an insatiable appetite, a formidable lack of tact and a ceaseless flow of facts gleaned from an entire career spent in front of the television, the self-styled Chair Person threatens to take over Marcia and Simon's home. A chopstick that may or may not be a magic wand wreaks supernatural havoc when the title characters of ``Four Grannies'' come to take care of Erg and his step-sister Emily. In ``Who Got Rid of Angus Flint?'' an exceedingly unpleasant houseguest is finally vanquished when the tables--along with the grand piano, the carpet and assorted chairs--turn on him. None of these lighthearted stories possesses the emotional depth and the layers of meaning found in the author's novels for older readers--nor are they intended to. Aimed at a slightly younger audience, this book is an ideal introduction to the quirky humor and witchery that characterize this author's work, nicely complemented by the line drawings and spot illustrations scattered throughout the text. Ages 8-up. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-- Jones, best known for her books for older readers, turns to the younger set here with three short, easy-to-read fantasies, presented in inviting large type. Published originally in Britain in the 1970s and 80s, the stories have been brought together and reillustrated for their debut in this country. Each selection is made up of six or seven very brief chapters. All three overflow with the kind of slapstick humor children love, involving ordinary household objects brought to life by magic. ``Chair Person'' is the best: children will enjoy the trials of a family whose old armchair is mysteriously (and disastrously) transformed into an overstuffed, and overbearing, little man. Although their themes are appealing, the other two selections are confusing and the last one moves at a breathless pace. Briticisms, while an integral part of an import's style, here weigh down the text. Readers just honing their skills should not have to deal with such an overload of unfamiliar usage. --Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Public Library

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060562052
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/17/2004
Pages:
132
Product dimensions:
6.24(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.64(d)
Age Range:
8 Years

Meet the Author

Diana Wynne Jones has been writing outstanding fantasy novels for more than twenty-five years and is one of the most distinguished writers in this field. With unlimited imagination, she combines dazzling plots, an effervescent sense of humor, and emotional truths in stories that delight readers of all ages.

Ms. Jones says, "Each time I write a book, I try to say something new, with the result that each book turns out differently from the ones before—which surprises, puzzles, and pleases me in about equal proportions." Her work spans from the epic novels of "The Dalemark Quartet" to the hilarious Chrestomanci books to the inventive Howl's Moving Castle (recently a major motion picture directed by Hayao Miyazaki) to individual gems such as The Merlin Conspiracy. Diana Wynne Jones lives in Bristol, England.

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