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The Great Redwall Feast

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The creatures of Redwall-the abbeymice and hares, otters and moles-are planning a surprise feast in their dear Abbot's honor. There is cake to be baked, marchpane to be rolled. Stirring and sifting, smoothing and brewing. Can everything be finished in time? And how can the Redwallers keep such a grand feast from their Abbot's keen eyes? Fans of Brian Jacques's beloved Redwall books will delight in seeing their old friends, brought to life by ...
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Overview

The creatures of Redwall-the abbeymice and hares, otters and moles-are planning a surprise feast in their dear Abbot's honor. There is cake to be baked, marchpane to be rolled. Stirring and sifting, smoothing and brewing. Can everything be finished in time? And how can the Redwallers keep such a grand feast from their Abbot's keen eyes? Fans of Brian Jacques's beloved Redwall books will delight in seeing their old friends, brought to life by Christopher Denise's witty, cozy art.

"Spirited and humorous... Denise's affectionate, detailed watercolors bring all the action to life." -Kirkus Reviews

For ages 9 and above.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The creator of the Redwall series turns his hand to verse for this rambling illustrated story featuring the animals of Redwall Abbey: "Lots of woodland creatures/ and all the Abbeymice/ were planning in secret, a marvelous feast/ for their abbot. Now wasn't that nice!" Their only problem is to hide the preparationsfortunately if enigmatically, the old Abbot proposes a "Quest for a Bobbatan Weary Nod" and, along with a few friends, absents himself with a walk in the woods. Meanwhile at the Abbey, as text and art show in equally amusing fashion, the hedgehogs decant barrels of fruit juice, the mice and hares bake and ice cakes, otters prepare hot root soup, and the molechild Bungo raids the food. When the questers return, the Abbot feigns suitable surprise, but the anagram contained in his odd quest reveals that he knew all along ("Abbot's Banquet, Ready Now"). Denise (The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship) creates an animated collection of cozily rustic critters, Beatrix Potter-like in their mix of animal appearance and human habits. But in spite of the thoroughly jovial tone, the book, like the Abbot's quest, is long and excursive, returning to its beginning instead of advancing, and the verse is occasionally clumsy. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Tim Whitney
This first illustrated storybook of the "Redwall" series tells of the surprise feast that the creatures of Redwall are preparing in their dear Abbot's honor. The warm illustrations capture the personality of the woodland creatures-abbey mice and hares, otters and moles-that inhabit Redwall. The illustrations and likeable characters in the story will appeal to a young audience. However, the rather large words and dialect of the characters of the story told in verse will make this a better read-aloud to children by adults.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-Jacques's "Redwall" books have proven immensely popular with a wide range of children. In this book, told in the form of a ballad, the author tries to expand the audience by giving his universe a picture-book treatment. The story is about the efforts of all the mice of Redwall Abbey to prepare a surprise feast for their abbot. To get him out of the way while preparations are made, a quest is invented. The remainder of the tale recounts the often-chaotic arrangements and the abbot's rather uneventful walk. The ending, in which it is revealed through a cipher that the abbot knew of their plans all along, is rather anticlimactic. The text is marred occasionally by awkward rhymes and trite or cute phrases. Where Jacques succeeds is in his marvelous evocation of atmosphere and place. Denise's illustrations lovingly bring the celebration and the animal inhabitants of the abbey to life. The small creatures' characters can be seen in their expressions. For this visual realization of Jacques's fictional world alone, the book is worth a look.-Tim Wadham, Dallas Public Library, TX
Kirkus Reviews
Anyone familiar with Jacques's Redwall series will have fond memories of the mouthwatering feasts prepared for every celebration: damson pie with meadowcream, hazelnut tart, and beetroot soup. Here, told with a rhyming text and for the first time in a full-color picture-book format, Jacques chronicles the hustle and bustle of preparations for a surprise feast in honor of the old abbot. Fat Friar Hugo directs the show, cellarmaster Ambrose Spike and his hedgehog crew are in charge of beverages, and Bungo the molechild is everywhere stealing tastes: "Dodging 'round ovens,/or hiding 'neath a table,/nothing edible is safe from one so small and able." Meanwhile the abbot takes a loyal following on a quest that only looks crazy, but proves masterful.

The long, long verse is spirited and humorous, and Denise's affectionate, detailed watercolors bring all the action to life. The mentions of favorite characters seem intended for readers of the novels, but the book's real use may be to introduce a new generation to the Redwall family.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399227073
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Series: Redwall Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian  Jacques
Brian Jacques
Following in the grand tradition of Watership Down, Brian Jacques’ bestselling Redwall books star animals in medieval England who must protect their home against evil. Equal parts enchanting fantasy and morality tale, these adventure-filled books have captivated readers worldwide.

Biography

The drawings that open the chapters in a Redwall book may look sweet, but Brian Jacques' fantasies are not for the faint of heart. Adventure, peril, betrayal, and downright slaughter abound in these hefty novels about the creatures -- mice, hares, moles, badgers, and sparrows -- who inhabit Redwall Abbey in medieval England.

Brian Jacques has had a life nearly as exciting as that of some of his characters: After dropping out of school in his native Liverpool at the age of 15, he traveled the world as a merchant seaman, visiting ports from America to Asia. Upon returning to England, he held a wide variety of jobs, from railway fireman to boxer among them. In the 1960s, he and his two brothers formed the Liverpool Fishermen, a folksinging group. Jacques also tried his hand as a playwright, producing several stage plays -- Brown Bitter, Wet Nellies, Scouse – about native Liverpudlians.

The Redwall stories, which were to earn him legions of fans, were born out of his time as a volunteer storyteller at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool. Jacques maintains that his detailed writing style was developed here; he was forced to be as descriptive as possible, so his audience would be able to experience his stories as if they could see. He created the first Redwall story as a gift to the children of the school, but never intended to publish it commercially. Fortunately for his many fans on both sides of the Atlantic, a friend sent his first manuscript to a publisher, and the rousing series took off in England in 1986 and in the U.S. the following year with Redwall.

Jacques takes issue with the notion that his books are "fantasy" fiction, a description that he says "smacks of swords and sorcery and dungeons and dragons. . . . I like to think of my books as old-fashioned adventures that happened ‘Once upon a time, long ago and far away.'"

The novels appeal generally to an audience of nine- to fifteen-year-olds, but have admirers both younger and older. The tales pivot on the conflict between good and evil; good invariably triumphs. Indeed, morality issues are always clear in Jacques' books: cruelty, greed, and avarice are eradicated in all forms; bravery, loyalty, and resourcefulness reap rewards aplenty. When it comes to characters, though, Jacques is less simplistic: Martin the Warrior, who through his courage and cunning rose to become the noblest hero in the land, is given to impetuousness, and the miscreant Cluny has both good and bad sides, a la Long John Silver.

For female readers, the Redwall books can be extra satisfying. His female creatures are as adventurous as the males: they don't faint into their male counterparts' arms, but explore, swashbuckle, and rescue on their own. In Mariel of Redwall (1991), the courageous girl mousechild Mariel, thrown overboard by the Gabool, leader of the evil pirate Searats, exacts her own brand of revenge.

Jacques' usually swift pace sometimes comes to a slogging halt with extraordinarily detailed descriptions of the legendary Redwall feasts, right down to the last acorn and drop of buttercup and honey cordial. But the author is redeemed by his delicate interweaving of subplots, his memorable menagerie, his rollicking sense of adventure, and his ability to transport the reader into an entirely different world, a world that, as one critic for The New York Times put it, "is both an incredible and ingratiating place, one to which readers will doubtless cheerfully return."

Good To Know

Brian Jacques wrote his books in longhand or on a manual typewriter, or, if the weather permits, outdoors.

Despite his success as an author, Jacques continued to broadcast the weekly radio show, Jakestown, that he hosted before he wrote the Redwall books.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      June 15, 1939
    2. Place of Birth:
      Liverpool, England
    1. Date of Death:
      February 5, 2011
    2. Place of Death:
      Liverpool, England
    1. Education:
      St. John’s School, Liverpool, England
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2007

    A reviewer

    Any true redwall lover would read this no matter what their age. The Great Redwall Feast has some of the most adorable illustrations i have ever seen and i love the mole baby Bungo. Such a cute little trouble maker, dont you think? But where's Mattimeo, i thought that he would be in it. And dont you think the abbot is clever, he knew about the feast, i thought that was funny. Well i think that any redwall lover would like this book. Enjoy the Bobbatan Weary Nod!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2003

    A MUST READ BOOK!

    I love Brian Jacques' books and I'm sure you would too. I started reading these books since last year and since I'm a bookworm my friends used to come to me to find some great books. I told them they should start with Brian Jacques' books. They're exciting and will make you want to never stop reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2002

    Awesome Book

    My favorite character in this book is Bungo because he fell into cake. He also cried when he had to get a bath. Heal also said he made all of the food.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2000

    kids only!

    this is a tale from the redwall series about redwallers making a suprise feast for there abbot it is just a nice childrens book so older brothers and sisters who enjoy redwall could get there little sisters and brothers started in the redwall series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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