The Serial Garden

October 11, 2017

Author: Joan Aiken.


The complete collection of twenty-four charming and magical Armitage family stories. Includes a prelude by the author and introductions from Garth Nix and Lizza Aiken.

My Thoughts:

The best kind of silly is delightful, clever, straight-faced silly. (Not the straight-faced silly where you realize suddenly “Oh, no, they mean it. How. What. Someone, help,” but the extravagant ever-growing tall tale carried off to such perfection that there’s someone credulous in the back trying to figure out if it’s real or not.)

Joan Aiken creates a world of magic, whimsy, and ordinary tea-time. Some of the stories were funnier than others; in fact the first couple of tales tasted bland to me, but there were two or three truly delightful ones, and most of them were fun. Seems to me like it might make a good read aloud for kids.

Content Review:

Sexual Content: None.

Language: None.

Violence: Witch ties a child up and tries to cook him, but through a series of mishaps no harm is done and he ends up escaping. Boy accidentally shoots man in the foot with a dart. There are multiple magical duels, but no one ever seems hurt – the worst result is some bruises and temporary transmogrifications.

Other: There is some depiction of traditional witches, with cauldrons and broomsticks; they’re treated quite lightly, and never cause any permanent damage (there’s some transmogrifications, which are also treated lightly, and always reversed.)


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