I am not usually a fan of horror books - certainly not those written for adults but horror and gothic lit for children whilst it is chilling remains refreshingly appealing and innocent - to a degree. So this week having read three books of horror and terror I redress the balance with three books of fairies and magic! Perhaps there is something here for the boys as well as the girls and I am not going to say which is which!
To begin with then the horror - well one could find themselves planning to dip into Grisly Tales from Tumblewater by Bruno Vincent - a series of interlinked short stories
clevery woven together to make the reader feel they have achieved the level of reading a whole whilst quietly luring them into the next and then before they know it the whole book! Brilliantly macabre, compelling and yet strangely amusing! Then there is the second Raven Mysteries title Ghosts and Gadgets from Marcus Sedgwick, an easy read and very funny, perfect for Junior readers who are not quite ready for
Debi Gliori's Pure Dead books, have perhaps tired of Lemony Snicket but want something along the same lines. Brilliant writing, wonderful description and a keen sense of fun horror. Finally for the horror at least there come Tales of Terror From The Tunnels Mouth by the fabulous Chris Priestly. A collection of short stories that do not quite interlink in the same way as Vincent's book yet are equally compelling and easy to become lost in. With lots of terrible twists and turns these are not bedtime reading but they are clearly quality stories of dark deeds wonderfully illustrated David Roberts, in pen and ink to convey the feeling of darkness.
If a little light relief is needed after all this darkness then what better way to find it than by turning to the charming Merlina and the Magic Spell by Daniela Drescher. Merlina the little sorceress and her dragon Igor are busily gathering fruit when Igor hurts his foot. Can Merlina find a spell to make him better? A charmingly sweet story with so much detail in the exquisite drawing that readers will be coming back for more. Eva Montanari is another talented author and illustrator whose work it is possible to see on display at the Illustration Cupboard in London until 20th January 2010. If you are in London this is well worth popping in for, her work is charming and exquisite, painstakingly detailed yet simple enough for the youngest eyes whilst her writing is full of sparkling magic and humour befitting of the titles. Princess Matilda has a wonderful imagination and can be many things but what she really is provides a wonderful surprise for the reader every time! Her Witches and Fairies on the other hand is a story with a strong moral about identity, yet at the same time a wonderfully funny tale of one dark night in the woods when the witches and fairies meet...
Have fun with some or all of these books and remember they are just stories and in stories monsters can become fairies so have sweet dreams!