Wednesday, 17 June 2020

#Booky100Keepers Day 45: "Mary and Frankenstein" by Linda Bailey and Julia Sarda (Andersen Children's Books)

This one's a relative newcomer to our shelf of "Keepers" but you couldn't wish for a better combination of creatives to work on a book that chronicles the life of one of the most influential gothic horror writers that ever lived.

"Mary and Frankenstein" by Linda Bailey and Julia Sarda combines the fantastic life story of Mary Shelley with the truly fitting and utterly mesmerising illustrations of Julia Sarda in a biography that does a huge amount to raise the profile of Shelley amongst younger readers.

We've often championed darker books on the blog, and of course quite a few dark books are in our #Booky100Keepers list but when you consider just how amazingly influential Mary Shelley's Frankenstein actually was, and how even to this day it continues to inspire horror fans, writers, directors and illustrators, it's fantastic to find a children's book that really does Mary's story proper justice.

Mary was a daydreamer as a child but always liked to create stories, but while on retreat with Percy Bysshe Shelley (who would become her husband), John Polidori and her sister, Mary dreams up the horror tale to end all horror tales as a storm sweeps in across Lake Geneva.

The rest, as they say, is history. Mary and Percy's relationship may have been stormy but he acted as her agent, and ensured that "Frankenstein (or the Modern Prometheus)" became a publishing sensation - and of course a world famous tale of a monster and his master, brought to life in a truly terrifying way.

We've said it before in the course of these articles and we'll say it again. Julia Sarda can do no wrong, and with Linda's deft and descriptive writing, this is one of the best ways to give your kids a few chills down their spine, and a very unusual picture book well deserving of a place in our list.

Original Review Link: 

ReadItDaddy's First Book of the Week - Week Ending 5th October 2018: "Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein" by Linda Bailey and Julia Sarda (Andersen Children's Books / Tundra Press)