Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball by Laura Ellen Anderson
|Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball by Laura Ellen Anderson|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: James Donald|
|Summary: An interesting version of the Addam's Family genre for kids. An entertaining Aesop.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: October 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
The annual Barbaric Ball is fast approaching and Amelia is facing the prospect of being the only person her age at it again. Things are different this year, however and the King may finally be returning to public life.
I have never really understood the idea behind the Addam's Family. The whole BDSM relationship between Gomez and Morticia makes some sense but none of that is present here. What we have here is the whole goth-inversion malarkey. Vampires who don't drink blood but do only get up at night, Death personified but he is a fun chap (but not in a Pratchett or Gaiman way) and monsters who are huge and scary but actually lovely. The objects of fear in this world are cute kittens and fairies. They eat snot and other disgusting things but in general are just normal.
To children a lot of this will be amusing. Disgusting meals, inverted expectations/normality and surreal reality – all of these things will delight children.
There is a reason the late Terry Pratchett and the marvellous Cornelia Funke turn to Laura Ellen Anderson for their illustrations! She is a fantastic artist and her style for this book could only be described as disgustingly beautiful. Anderson takes the Burton-esq trappings of the world she created and ramps them to eleven deeply enhancing the experience for readers.
The story is hardly original and as a morality tale you just know exactly how it will end. At least that is the case when a 42 year old who's read thousands of books reads it. For a six to ten year old things won't be so cut and dry. The trappings of the tale will mask the simplicity of it for young readers. The moral being conveyed is a great one and it will hit home with kids as relating to their everyday life.
All in all this is a surreal and silly book that teaches a few important life-lessons for children. Not my idea of a great book but I'd have loved to read it with my children when they were younger.
Further reading: Mermaid by Cerrie Burnell and Laura Ellen Anderson.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball by Laura Ellen Anderson at Amazon.com.
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