Review Blog

Jul 10 2015

The Grimstones collection by Asphyxia

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781760113919
(Age: 9+) Recommended. Humour. Gothic stories. Ghouls. Beautifully presented, this compendium of the four Grimstones stories will be a welcome addition to any library, with its shiny paper, delicious, inventive illustrations and easy to read chapters. Hatched, Mortimer revealed, Whirlwind and Music school are collected in this one volume for readers of this eerie set of Gothic tales. The first two books in the series are reviewed in Readplus. The diaries of the youngest member of the Grimstone family, Martha will encourage all sorts of readers to peer into this book, as she introduces her very strange family and investigates the death of her beloved father, Mortimer.
With enticing pictures of Martha with her wan thin expression bathed in black clothing, leading the reader to postulate how the illustrator achieved the images, the pages turn to reveal diagrams, notes, tips on how to do things, bold headings of frustration, recipes, drawings, pages from other books, double page illustrations and loads of little drawings that fill many nooks and crannies, all designed to intrigue. At the end of the book Asphyxia gives a brief summary of how she and her partner achieved the illustrative work and she refers the readers to her website for further information. I can imagine many readers poring over the pages to see how the images are put together and try it out for themselves, and as a result have many libraries and classrooms set up with Grimstone puppets with ghoulish settings as a display.
The Gothic humour pervades the whole book and will capture a wide audience.
Fran Knight

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