by Will Huygen

Paper Book, 1979




Peacock Press / Bantam (1979), 200 pages


Using a number of sources the author and illustrator have compiled a delightful book on gnomeology. In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of its publication, we're thrilled to reissue this phenomenal delight, which enjoyed 62 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. Fantasy and fun combine in this "real life" history.

Original publication date




0553011413 / 9780553011418


(405 ratings; 4.1)

User reviews

LibraryThing member universehall
My parents owned a copy of this book when I was a child. Although I was too young to read, I vividly remember looking at the pictures in this book and fervently admiring it. I never thought that when I grew up I would find my own copy of it. But I did!

A delightful fictious romp through the world of
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gnomeology - this beautifully illustrated book paints a picture of the world of the gnome. As you read the book and study the pictures, you may begin to wonder whether that the author might have painted everything from life. It seems amazing that the vivid illustrations in the book came from someone's imagination.

A work of art and a charming pasttime. I highly recommend it.
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LibraryThing member ipsographic
One of my aunts had this book when I was a child, and I spent what seemed like hours poring over it. I loved the ethnographic approach to folk creatures and the illustrations are great -- the diagram of the house especially kept my attention. I looked for gnomes in woods and gardens everywhere!
LibraryThing member Wosret
I love this book!

I was first drawn to it by the art. I love the style - warm, intimate, realistic and believable. I love guide books, and I love that this book details all kinds of little things about life as a gnome.

I found the story to be quite believable as well. The book is very immersive. I
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could easily imagine myself in the shoes of the authors as they were given a tour of the world beneath our feet, and usually beneath our notice.
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LibraryThing member Czrbr
Book Description: New York, NY, U.S.A.: Harry N. Abrams Incorporated, 1977. Very Good/Very Good. First American Edition.
LibraryThing member AnnieHidalgo
When I was little, I used to pore over this book, wishing that, if gnomes were not real and if I couldn't see them for myself, I could at least live for a time like the little people depicted in the book, with elaborate teaparties made of natural foods, and mad handcrafting skills. Perhaps it's
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because my family was in the SCA. Now that I am grown, I still wish that, from time to time. Such a fun book. I think that, if this is not too much of a stretch - when children read books like this, and say, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, they start to think, what WOULD it be like to be a small and out-of-the-way creature? How much is going on outside right now, that I am missing? This perhaps is the seed from which a lot of environmentalism sprouts - the ability to realize that other creatures might have other worlds of their own, about which you know far less than you think.
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LibraryThing member Elyne
I absolutely love this book! My friend saw me reading it one day and she said I looked enchanted. The drawings are beautiful and the stories are believable.
LibraryThing member nicole_a_davis
I remember seeing this book as a kid and being so taken with the illustrations and fascinated by the detail. Now that I've found it again and re-read it as an adult, I'm still just as amazed by the encyclopedic take on the subject and the beautiful artwork. There can be no other work about gnomes
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so thorough and fun to look at.
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LibraryThing member 1212bec
Interested in everything Gnome? This book has it all with detailed pictures and fun information about Gnomes. This book brings Gnomes alive.
LibraryThing member norabelle414
A faux bestiary of gnomes. Amazingly detailed descriptions of gnomes' everyday lives (Sometimes bordering on TMI). Breathtaking pictures. The translation isn't perfect, but that hardly matters.
LibraryThing member drruth
Delightful early entry (and one of the best) in the category of books that take fantasy seriously, in the sense that they treat fantastic creatures as real and detail and illustrate every aspect of their lives.
LibraryThing member StefanY
One of my favorites as a kid, I recently re-read this classic and thoroughly enjoyed it again as an adult. I don't really know what differences there are in the Thirtieth Anniversary Edition versus the original, but I didn't really notice any changes (of course it's been at least twenty to
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twenty-five years since I last flipped through the pages of this beautiful and fascinating book.)

What makes this book so wonderful is the stunning artwork combined with the tongue-in-cheek text written as a naturalistic study of Gnomes in their natural habitats and everyday lives. This is a great book to just flip through for a few minutes or to read from cover to cover. The diagrams and stories blend together with the pastoral artwork in a way that stands the test of time and remains a joy for those of all ages. As long as you have a little imagination, I think that you will have a very rewarding experience in giving Gnomes a shot.
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LibraryThing member sturlington
A book I've had since childhood, which always delighted me and let me believe a wider world of magical creatures could exist. I have since shared it with my son, and he was similarly enchanted.
LibraryThing member miketopper
best book about gnomes
LibraryThing member lissabeth21
I loved this book growing up. There was a copy on my parents' best friends' coffee table and I could never wait to visit them. I devoured the beautiful illustrations and eventually all the detailed descriptions as well. Will definitely get a copy once my children stop trying to rip up paper!
LibraryThing member LarissaBookGirl
For hundreds of years gnomes have watched, listened, advised, assisted and inspired us. Known for their wisdom, patience and kindness to small animals, gnomes have always been there as an essential part of nature. At times they have even been known to assist those in need, council those with
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difficulties and on occasion teach the unpleasant among us a hard lesson.

Elusive and cunning, these happy little men with their affinity for animals and knowledge of plant life run about the night on their secret duties, while at home the females are busy tending the children and completing domestic chores. Their sworn enemies, besides animals of prey, are trolls who are disliked for their foul odour and general badness; in turn trolls detest gnomes for their beguiling ways and quick feet.

Gnomes is a charming and comprehensive guide into the world of these amazing and astonishing little people. Known mostly for their full beards, rosy cheeks and nose rubbing ways, within these pages you will discover just what it is to be a gnome. Which according to any gnome would be his cap, for a gnome is just not a gnome without his pointy red cap. With physiology, remedies, courtship, legends, songs and personal accounts, Gnomes is a book for anyone with a inquisitive mind and an open heart.
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LibraryThing member mykl-s
I think this book made gnomes fashionable for several years.
LibraryThing member comixminx
Pleasant, picturesque, detailed, lovingly drawn. Also very conservative-with-a-small-c, patriarchal, and closed-minded: nothing in the depicted gnome society breaks any new ground, it all harkens back to a traditional Western-style golden age of craftsmanship wedded to strict gender roles. Add in a
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dash of environmental messages and there you have it.

Nice drawings though.
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LibraryThing member LynnMPK
Cute book about gnomes. It's written in a non-fiction style that details everything you would want to know about gnomes, including physiology, culture, and other species related to or sometimes confused with gnomes. It also includes nine folk tales that have to do with gnomes. Overall, this is a
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fast read with beautiful illustrations, and the deluxe edition comes with 8 prints suitable for framing.
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