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You kids get off my lawn. 

A Gift of Her Own: An Elfquest Story - Wendy Pini Completely baffling little story to someone who has never read any ElfQuest, and that is avowedly me. My husband and I picked this up at the fire sale going on on a slow, weekendly basis over at DreamHaven, sniff, RIP. This felt like one of those latter day Sandman books - I was a serious Sandman reader at the time - which hat-tip a bunch of the beloved characters while trying to hang those hat-tips onto a narrative that could stand on its own. (Like The Sandman: The Dream Hunters Graphic Novel)

I think the Sandman tie-ins are probably more successful, but then they are not intended for children, and, not being a child, I'm slightly immune to this book. It begins with a girl in a mad dash out of the city, running away from her family and her poverty. She runs though a forest, to a glowing briar patch which opens into the ElfQuest world. She meets winking elves and their insouciant children, a wailing gnome, wolves. She sees a wild hunt and hides in the branches as they go baying by. She learns the value of her creativity in an nearly trite episode involving a necklace, and goes back home to her poverty with a spring in her step. It's okay.

I'm going to bump this a star because my daughter loved the crap out of this book. She's been sick, punkish and tired, and she dragged this to me on the couch and made me read. She wanted to know all about the elves here, because she can't read, but she can see pictures. Again, this art is dated and weird to me, but it must hit some lizard-brain satisfaction in the human forming brain. Or something.

And then when I went to make fun of this book, my husband was like, "Elves are so freaking cool, yo!! ElfQuest 4evah!!!1!!" As I laughed superiorly, he ran downstairs and tried to find the ElfQuest comics he has lurking in some box somewhere, but (sadly) couldn't find them. Did we loan them out to someone? Does one of you have them? Anyway, point being, I think it's cool that ElfQuest seems to appeal to both genders, a vanishingly rare quality these days.

So, I didn't love this, but I'm not one of the faithful: pining for a glance of beloved characters behind a glowing wall of thorns. But I can see the appeal, even though the art is a little He-Man-ish for my tastes. (And even though some of the blather about "Makers" and whatnot seemed aggressively cheerful.) I mean, my kids love He-Man, for whatever reason, even a fifteen minute YouTube video of Skeletor saying MYAAH!, so take their tastes with a grain of salt. MYAAH!