When I was asked to review an advance copy of the Gnomes Deluxe Collector's Edition book, I almost said no because I typically only review gardening books. But then I thought about the Garden Gnome statue craze that I never really understood and decided to take a look at the book. Well now I do understand why gardeners are enamored with gnomes.
Gnomes Deluxe Collector's Edition, by Will Hugen and Rien Poortvilet is a new update of their 35-year-old classic Gnomes book.
I never got the opportunity to read the original book, but it was a New York Times bestseller and has sold over a million copies. I'm pretty sure that book was why people love gnomes and want to have statues of them in and around their gardens.
Now people like me who didn't see that first book can learn about gnomes with this new deluxe collector's edition. I love the way Huygen writes about gnomes in this book. I thought this would be a collection of fiction stories, but instead, I was treated to scientific observations of gnomes described from actual gnome encounters in Holland. It reads more like a zoology book but is still fun and light. This book is best described as a celebration of the wonderful creatures called gnomes.
In it, Huygen discusses and describes all areas of gnome culture: architecture, education, courtship, medicine, industry, and even relationships with other mythical creatures.
Rien Poortvliet joins in with beautiful illustrations of the gnomes and their environment. These full color pictures really enhance Huygen's descriptions. I'm sure these beautiful illustrations had a lot to do with the original book's enormous success.
Part of what makes this book a Collector's Edition is that included in the back cover pocket is eight frameable prints of illustrations from the book.
One of them is even the recognizable illustration from the cover of the first Gnomes book.
After reading this book I now understand other gardener's fascination with gnomes. I'm still not sure if you will find gnome statues in my garden, but you can bet when I'm outside, I'll be more on the lookout for any movement in the underbrush. According to the gnome population by geographic location map in the book, there are a few gnomes in North America. Maybe, just maybe some will take a liking to our garden and move in nearby.
I really enjoyed Gnomes Deluxe Collector's Edition and would recommend it as well. Published by Abrams books, it is a fun read and a pretty interesting coffee table book.
After reading this book Huygen says you will be ready to "seek contact with gnome-life anywhere on the globe. Knock at any door, and sooner or later it will be opened for you, assuming you keep the door of your heart open. Good luck, don't become disheartened, and never give up!"
Sounds like good advice for seeking gnomes, gardening, or even for life itself.