Saturday, July 21, 2012

Answering Review Request: Nimpentoad

"Nimpentoad" is a children's fantasy story written by Henry Henz. The show takes place in a forest and the star of this show is Nimpentoad. He's a 'nibling' who are the smallest race in the forest and so they're always picked on. One day Nimpentoad decides to lead them to the castle of Goofus the Giant where they will be safe, but to get there they have to cross the forest and all the nasty creatures in their way.

There are so many things I like about this story. There's the storytelling atmosphere, the  child-like yet intelligent prose, the pictures that bring the story to life, the well-built setting, and Nimpentoad himself.

The story is written as though someone was telling the story to someone else. This adds character and warmth to the writing that makes the story feel 'fuller'. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Narrator is as much a character as anyone else. Now that I've finished the story and thought about it the story itself could be a nipling scholar telling some far off future generation about why they live in a castle with a giant.

The wording and sentence structure are simple but filled with knowledge and detail. Going off the above paragraph, it's like the scholar is doing this deliberately for his much younger audience. There are sound effects in parenthesis that make me smile with their cute/cheesiness. Some phrases are also repeated with each segment, which gives the story a kind of poetic epic structure; again like a national 'origin story' for the nipling.

The pictures are gorgeous, well, as gorgeous as giant scorpions and forest orcs can be anyway.  Each picture shows off the various races inhabiting the forest but not the actions they take. It's imagination fonder for the reader. They get to paint the actions themselves.

The setting is surprisingly well built for such a short children's story.  The forest is continually developed by the plants that grow inside it (Niplings are very good cooks) and the breakdown of the society is quickly set up and developed further as the Niplings travel.  It's perfect for the background of the story, and even better, an older reader can appreciate nuances that younger ones might not get and debate them on websites like TVTropes.

Finally, Nimpentoad himself. The story says earlier on that he's the smartest of the Niplings and he demonstrates this every day on their journey. His craftiness saves them time and again.  It's like he's their Trickster Figure; creating new ideas, changing their way of life, surviving on his wits instead of brawn.

Bottom Line: If I were five years old again, I'd want my mom and dad to read this to me and they would enjoy it as much as I would.

Trickster Eric Novels gives "Nimpentoad" an A+

Click here for the next review request: Trapped On Draconica

Click here for the previous review request: Be Paranoid Be Prepared

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