Friday 16 September 2016

ReadItDaddy's Second Book of the Week - Week Ending 16th September 2016 - "The Raven - Pop Up Edition" by Edgar Allan Poe, David Pelham and Christopher Wormell (Abrams Young Readers)

Our Second Book of the Week this week is dark, gothic and utterly brilliant. Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" rises from the grave...!
Two writers shaped my formative years, giving me a taste for the dark and macabre. One was H.P Lovecraft, who dreamed up terrifying worlds that existed in a dark parallel to our own, speaking of ancient evil and the dark lord Cthulhu.

The other was Edgar Allan Poe who wrote the most chilling verse, atmospheric and scary but utterly compelling.

Obviously it's never going to be an easy task to introduce Poe to children, even when they are already a fan of 'dark' children's books.

But here's the solution - a truly astonishing and brilliant version of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" dreamed up by David Pelham and Christopher Wormell.

As you can tell from our header, this is a pop-up edition of the book and my goodness, does it ever grab the attention from the moment you open the cover...

His expression says it all. Probably best not to read this one in the dark of night!
Of course, the visual delights of this brilliant and dark book are just part of the draw. Poe's excelllent poem still reads as dramatically as ever it did and it's a fantastic lesson in how to write verse that literally flows off the tongue.

The big draw for Charlotte (as well as listening to me do a terrible impression of a rabid victorian gent reading the poem in a frenzied voice) was, of course, the amazing paper engineering that went into this book. The narrator, ever fearful of his mysterious winged visitor, and of course the Raven itself, are all depicted in amazing fashion. It's a stunning looking book, no doubt about it.

Thankfully despite the poem's dark tones, there's nothing too menacing for little ones in here - though I do wonder whether a version of "The Telltale Heart" would have been as palatable as this!

Truly stunning stuff though! NEVERMORE!

Charlotte's favourite bit: As the poem draws to a spine-chilling and dramatic close, the book really pours it on with brilliant paper engineering and a fantastically spooky castle!

Daddy's favourite bit: What a truly amazing way to present one of the most atmospheric poems ever written. Utterly brilliant, and sure to win over an army of fans who love 'darker' children's books.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Abrams Young Readers)

"The Raven (Pop Up Edition)"

Written by Edgar Allan Poe

With David Pelham and Christopher Wormell

Published by Abrams Young Readers

Publication Date: 8th September 2016