Friday, 23 August 2019

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 23rd August 2019: "Ghost" by Kit Turley, Blaise Hemingway, Jesse Reffsin, Chris Sasaki, Jeff Turley and Pam Hsu / Illustratus (Chronicle Books)

Wait a second, this isn't supposed to happen is it?

We're constantly being told that children's books are being watered down, that we exist in some sort of weird nanny state where 'dark' children's books have fallen by the wayside to be replaced with saccharine-sweet stuff instead.

Yet our Book of the Week this week, "Ghost" by Illustratus isn't just one tale, but 13 darkly delicious and wholly spooky stories crammed into one of the most visually impressive and gorgeously presented books we've had the pleasure of reviewing this year.

The book sets out its table from the moment you see the front cover, and inside it continues to run icy cold fingers up and down your spine in 13 tales that - if you read the book in the darkness of the night - may well have you hearing more than just the odd bump or rattle of chains.

"Ghost" is perfect for folk (particularly kids) who love to think that there's more to our world than just the things we think we know. Something other-worldly, supernatural, spectral and Karen deftly plays on this with exquisite expertise in all of the writing tricks that differentiate a truly dark and mind-blowing book from just jump-scare fodder.

Stories, poems and folk-tale-like storytelling tied together by an impressive set of original illustrations from the talented Illustratus studio mark this book a cut above the rest, leaving the scariest stuff right until the very end.

If you get much sleep after this, we'd be very surprised (of course, unless, like us, you're the sort of person who yearns to spend a night in a haunted house!)

Perhaps not one for younger kids but my 11 year old absolutely ate this up. If you think that dark books are 'done' think again, this one's an absolute belter.

Sum this book up a sentence: A divine anthology designed to prickle your senses and tickle your curiosity about the supernatural, with tales brilliantly tripping deftly between the real and surreal.

"Ghost" by Illustratus is out now, published by Chronicle Books (kindly supplied for review).