Instructions by Neil Gaiman

“Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before,
Say “please” before you open the latch, go through . . .”

Instructions Cover

What’s the Story?

One of Neil Gaiman’s best-known poems, Instructions tells you everything you need to know on your journey into the unknown.


Adventure awaits, but the world is as dangerous as it is wonderful so heed your guide’s advice carefully or you may not ever return.


After all, it’s a dangerous business going out your front door. 

Why is it Great?

Neil Gaiman is renowned for his modern fairy tales and, with Instructions, he doesn’t disappoint. Written as a set of instructions to guide the reader on their journey, Instructions takes us on a adventure through fairy land.


We’re taught that kindness is as important as courage and integrity as powerful as strength.  Those that heed the narrator’s advice, who help those in need and follow the rules of fairy land, will find allies and have favors repaid. But those who don’t do so at their own peril. 


Instructions’ lyical prose are a delight to read aloud, stimulate the imagination, and inspire.


Charles Vess’s illustrations are rich, colorful, and imaginative. They capture the heart of fairy and are a perfect pairing with Gaiman’s prose.

Instructions by Neil Gaiman

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