Do you children enjoy the macabre stories? Do they find disgusting things amusing? Are they delighted to read the spooky and scary books? The Tiny Twisted Tales by Calvin Innes is a collection of weird stories that would appeal to the lovers of all things strange and bizarre.
Take a young boy called Henry. He spends all his time hiding under the duvet in the attic. His parents have clearly given up on him and don't clean the attic which hosts a whole army of spiders and moths.
He spent all of his days,
in his room in the loft.
With the insects and spiders,
and dusty old moths.
Henry looks longinly out of the attic window and can see children playing and enjoying themselves, but his fears stop him from joining in. He looks as white as a sheet, hence the title of the book- Pale Henry.
One day Henry decides that enough is enough. He bravely conquers his fears and goes out to join the children who mercifully don't mock his unusual appearance and accept his difference. Henry gains his confidence, acquires new friends and loses his pallid looks.
The end of the book of verses is rather endearing and amusing. Despite the fact that Henry enjoys playing with the children during the week, he is as happy to spend his weekends back in the comfort of his attic, with the cat and insects for company.
The message that this book sends is that it is OK to be different and true to yourself. There is no need to conform.
It is reassuring for children to read that being different is perfectly acceptable and that it is "fun to be normal... but not all the time"
This book is written and illustrated by Calvin Innes who has been creating the world of unusual characters his whole life. His artistic portfolio is impressive.
My boys enjoyed the books from the series a lot, as they both take delight in gruesome and macabre subjects. They are entertaining, amusing and playful. As a more discerning critic than my gang, I found the poetry rather wobbly and uneven. Diverting and charming these books might be, but poetry-wise, there is a room for improvement. Saying that, I agree with the main message of Pale Henry: be yourself.
If you liked this review, you might enjoy reading reviews of Calvin Innes books written by the other parenting bloggers, like
The Mini Mes and Me
Emma's Little World
The Only Boy in the House