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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Stitch Head by Guy Bass

In the maze-like dungeons of Castle Grotteskew, the frightfully insane Professor Erasmus conducts his bizarre experiments on living things. His very first creation has long been forgotten - a small, almost-human creature, known only as Stitch Head. Poor Stitch Head has spent years vying for attention amongst a menagerie of freakish monsters. When a travelling circus ringmaster, Fulbert Freakfinder, promises to make him a star, Stitch Head wonders whether there is another life for him. But first he has to catch the professor's latest creation - a monstrous three-armed creature that's just smashed its way to freedom..

I was first introduced to Guy Bass when I was given Secret Santa, Agent of X.M.A.S to review. I loved that book and was eagerly waiting to see what he would be releasing next.

Stitch Head is a 'cute' little creation, created by the professor, Mad Professor Erasmis, who lives in Castle Grotteskew and spends his days, and nights, creating creatures, each one more scary and obscure than the one before. Stitch head was his first creation and spends his days calming each of the new creations down with his potions, to prevent harm from the new creations. Professor Erasmis looses interest in each creation as soon as he has breathed life into each creation. 

The book is well written and has some loose similarities to Frankenstein, however this one is definitely suitable, and aimed at, children. As I previously said, Stitch head is cute and likable, however, he is forgotten by the professor as soon as he is created, the professor is immediately always looking for someone better, he is never satisfied with what he has at the present moment. I think that this is an important message within the book, that people should remember the friends they have, and not just discard them when someone, who appears to be better, comes along.

As i have said, the story is excellent, however the book is as much about the pictures and the layout as the words. The book has a striking black cover, with the spotlight on Stitch head who looks so scared and alone. As you turn each page, which themselves look to be part of an old book, with the shaded edges and the look of creased pages, you are drawn to the pictures, showing the creations of Professor Erasmis and their obscure features.  There are many pictures in silhouette, adding to the darkness of the story.

The book is split into chapters, each chapter having its own front page, with mad musings or poems hinting at the content of the chapter. They encouraged me to read just one more chapter before putting the book down! 

I think this book will be very popular, perfect for children who enjoy the world of dragons, monsters and ghosts and ghouls. A great, well written book which has the complete package, with the look of the book and excellent illustrations which complement the story perfectly.

Thank you to Stripes Publishing for sending me the book to review.

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