Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow by Katy Towell
"Adelaide Foss, Maggie Borland, and Beatrice Alfred are known by their classmates at Widowsbury's Madame Gertrude's School for Girls as "scary children." Unfairly targeted because of their peculiarities—Adelaide has an uncanny resemblance to a werewolf, Maggie is abnormally strong, and Beatrice claims to be able to see ghosts—the girls spend a good deal of time isolated in the school's inhospitable library facing detention. But when a number of people mysteriously begin to disappear in Widowsbury, the girls work together, along with Steffen Weller, son of the cook at Rudyard School for Boys, to find out who is behind the abductions. Will they be able to save Widowsbury from a sinister 12-year-old curse? " Source: Amazon
I was introcuced to "Childrin R Skary" through a friend of mine, who showed me the animations made by the author herself. Said animations have mostly one running theme:
Little scary girls and how they change the world for the better or the worse. They were quite nice to watch, though a bit badly drawn and a bit too predictable in their story, but entertaining and creative in other aspects. (That does sound worse than I inteded it to. I guess it would be best if you judge for yourselves: http://skary.com/)
Now the author has brought her ideas to paper and the result is this book. It was printed in 2011 and since I liked the ideas and the style of the videos, I purchased it. It´s a quick read (about 270 pages), it´s illustrated and it´s... genuienly entertaining, adorable, and exciting and the intended message is solid and conveyed wonderfully.
There is little to complain about the book, since it know what it wants: The characters are charming and relateable and they have their strenghts and flaws. There have been times when I rolled my eyes at all four of the main characters, though this did not stem from BAD writing, but from GOOD writing. They were portrayed as children who have yet to find their place in the world and make mistakes because of it. All motivations were comprehensible.
The story is not ashamed to become dark and edgy while still having its cute and nice moments. It´s not complex, but also not banal. It has style and a goal. It´s simply a enjoyable, gloomy adventure.
|An illustration from the book|
My only real problem with the book is... it´s illustrations. It´s not like the author did not try, the pictures are a huge step upward from the animation. But - and I know I´m being full of myself here - if you can count the mistakes that you used to make just a few years ago in every illustration, it kind of takes you out of the experience. Buuut: It´s always clear what is meant to be expressed and for someone less nitpicky than me, the illustrations might not be a problem at all.
I recommend the book especially to adolescents and children that are into vampires, werewolfs and gothis culture anyways (provided they can read English) and to adults who can appreciate a lovely told, eerie, little story. Apart from that you can get a first impression with the animations, of course. If you like what you´ve seen there, you will love the book.
Copyright to "Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow" and all related pictures shown in this entry belong to Katy Towell and the Knopf Books for Young Readers.
Said pictures are hosted and shown under the right of review.