'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 31 October 2011

Review: The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon

This limerick-style rhyming picture book by the talented Blabey is unique as it is beautiful. Graced with exquisite, evocative images created with acrylic paint, pencil and pen on watercolour paper, the story follows the tale of the ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon – a dour and sour presence haunting the village of Twee (seven miles from the sea).

Poor Miss Annabel Spoon. The residents of Twee are resplendently petrified, suffering distemper and fits at every turn… as Miss Annabel appears in the night. How can they rid their town of this horror?

Well, says young Herbert Kettle – maybe they should ask Annabel why she is here.

Seems simple enough.

As Herbert trudges through the terrifying forest to the ghost’s haunted house, his fear is palpable… but when he knocks on the door and sees Miss Annabel’s face… could it be this ghoul is simply in need of a friend?

This is a beautiful, fable-like book. The images are simply enchanting, the story heart-wrenching, and the image of Annabel Spoon beginning to cry is truly stunning (and utterly heartbreaking). Many of the pages are suitably dark and haunting, but the humour and charm shines through. I’m loving the images of a gushing Annabel as she realizes she may have just found a friend.

Blabey does a brilliant job with his limerick rhymes. They are stylishly done, emotional and oftentimes funny. A clever, enchanting and emotive story.

Title: The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon
Author/Illustrator: Aaron Blabey
Publisher: Viking, $29.95 RRP
Publication Date: 3 October 2011
ISBN: 9780670074747
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
For ages: 6 – 10
Type: Picture Book