Book Review: The Land of Stone Flowers

61IV5Y1nfkL.jpg★★★★☆

Classic fairytales get a refreshing satirical twist in this collection of illustrated stories in which gnomes, pixies, and other fairy folk share tall tales of the strange and unbelievable human world and its inhabitants. Brimming with keen observations and wild assumptions on human anatomy, customs, languages, rituals, dwellings, and more, The Land of Stone Flowers is as absurd as it is astounding, examining contradictory and nonsensical human behaviors through the lens of the fantastic: from the bewitching paper wizards who live in humans’ wallets to their invisible hats, known as “moods,” which cloud their view of the world. Bursting with intricate and evocative illustrations, The Land of Stone Flowers will draw readers into a world of fantasy and fable that slyly reveals many hidden truths about human existence.

The Land of Stone Flowers intrigued me in so many ways, it was original and creative, the illustrations were breathtaking and the words stole my heart entirely.

This book’s written like an anthology of stories told by fairies, trolls and dwarves to prove that humans do, in fact, exist. Yes, you’ve read that right. In this book, humans are mythical creatures, their existence is questionable, their world is called The Land of Stone Flowers and fairies, dwarves, trolls only ever get there through very peculiar events and usually when they get back to their world, their experiences aren’t believed.

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I really loved how every part of the book was dedicated to very different aspects from the human world, for example, the book started with anatomy details on humans beings, then it got into our customs, what dreams and languages are, how we socialize.

The illustrations are hands-down the best part of the book, they are very detailed and stunning, Sveta Dorosheva has such a great talent and I love how she mixed her illustrations with the story she was building. They were fitting and absolutely glorious. This book is probably the most beautiful book I own.

I loved how the book noted the differences in perception between children and adults, how as we grow up, we start to lose our connection to magic, to our imagination, to things that made us so happy during our childhood, while in our adulthood, we lose ourselves in routine and jobs and earning success and forget about magic. I think this discussion will always touch me and remind me not to lose my inner child and always keep it alive through books and kindness.

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My only issue with this book was the fact that it didn’t seem very inclusive, there was a chapter on dancing and all the couples depicted were heterosexual and dancing was described as “an activity between a man and a woman”, erm. I would have probably let it go as a not-very-thoughtful unintended comment if the book was diverse in any other way. But that wasn’t the case, so a star goes. 

All in all, I think this is a very clever story, it definitely resembles a fairy-tale and will probably be a huge hit for anyone looking for a beautiful, original story.

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I want to thank Chronicle Books for sending me a copy of this book, this hadn’t influenced my review, nor my rating in any way. 

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Have you read The Land of Stone Flowers? What did you think of it?

What are some of your favorite picture books? Recommend me some in the comments!

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16 thoughts on “Book Review: The Land of Stone Flowers

  1. David Boone (moonhawk81) says:

    I’m intrigued! I love the concept, and will get this book. As for your observation on the lack of inclusiveness, I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt. (After all, it’s easy to become fixated on one idea to the unintentional exclusion of others, and reversing fairy tale viewpoints is a big idea. . .besides, what if it’s an intentional ploy to prompt a second, more nuanced book?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kelly says:

    I love the fact that it’s turned it on its head and that it’s told from the POV of what we would consider mythical creatures but, in fact, it’s humans who are mythical creatures. What a concept! It sounds so interesting, I’m definitely intrigued by it. And the illustrations are absolutely stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Yesss, it’s very magical and amazing, especially with the fact that fairies have very interesting theories about humans, some of these not being true, of course 😂
      I fell in love with the illustrations as well 😍

      Like

  3. Kat @ Novels & Waffles says:

    Hardcore thinking of reading this just for the illustrations. I am such a sucker for beautiful illustrations and fairy tales. I’m kind of sad that YA books don’t have illustrations and that it’s generally something reserved for Middle Grade or Children’s books. Thanks for a great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      The illustrations and the concept did it for me, I think you’d enjoy it very much ❤ Same here! I really love illustrations in ya books or social media messages or fanfiction bits or anything that isn’t a traditional text.

      Liked by 1 person

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