Book Review: Stitch Head, by Guy Bass and Pete Williamson (Illustrator)

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Stitch Head, by Guy Bass and Pete Williamson (Illustrator)

In the frightening, maze-like dungeon laboratory deep within Castle Grotteskew, mad scientist Professor Erasmus brings his bizarre experiments to life. His first creation, Stitch Head, has long been ignored and forgotten.  But when a traveling circus ringmaster promises to make him a star, Stitch Head is torn between his almost-life in the castle and the promise of fame outside its walls. Before he can decide what to do, Castle Grotteskew and its inhabitants (living and almost-living) are in danger: the professor’s latest monstrous creation has smashed its way to freedom, and Stitch Head may be the only one who can stop it.

For ages 8-11.

* First of three books in series
* Adorably creepy
* Fits the current trend of zany monster and vampire movies such as Hotel Transylvania

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers (February 1, 2013)

My Thoughts:
I’ve been very curious about the popularity of monsters and scary themes in children’s books lately.  My daughter is really into them, so we’ve read a lot of spooky books together lately.  Stitch Head is one of the better ones that we’ve read.  

The chapters are short and peppered with plenty of illustrations.  The evil villain is deceptive and charming, making all sorts of promises he has no intention of keeping.  Stitch Head is sweet and overly trusting because he has virtually no experience with anyone other than the mad professor when he was a boy.  

Guy Bass has a nice “voice” that comes through in the story.  The book moves along at a nice pace, and there aren’t any dry parts or areas when my daughter got restless.  The Creature is funny and very excited about everything.  It reminds me of a puppy, and it keeps things interesting.  

I love the ending.  I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that some roles are reversed.  It gives the story a nice ending that isn’t as predictable as most kid’s books.  It is wrapped up neatly, but not perfectly.  It left me feeling satisfied without the annoyance of a perfect ending.

The illustrations really enhance the look and feel of the book.  They contribute tremendously to the spooky atmosphere and the world that Stitch Head lives in.  Very well done.

I am so excited that this is going to be a series!  I can’t wait to read the next one with my daughter.

Amazon | Goodreads | Author Website | Artist Website

About the Author:

Guy Bass is an award winning writer, author, and stuff. In 2010 he won the Blue Peter Book Award for Most Fun Book With Pictures for Dinkin Dings and the Frightening Things and has twice won the Portsmouth Book Award (Shorter Novel) for his Dinkin Dings series. Guy grew up dreaming of being a superhero – he even had a Spider-Man costume. The costume doesn’t fit anymore, so Guy now contents himself with writing children’s books and drawing the occasional picture.  He has written plays for both adults and children, including three series of children’s plays for The Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. He also created the MUNGLERS TRUMPS cards – and draws in almost every birthday card he sends.
In times past, Guy has been a theatre producer,  a surly temp, and has acted his way out of several paper bags.
Guy lives in London with his wife and no dog, yet. Ask him questions, book him for an event, or just tell him how brilliant he is here – guy@guybass.com

About the Illustrator:
Pete Williamson lives in a garden flat in South London with his
girlfriend. He has worked as a designer for an animation company and
also as a psychiatric nurse. Pete’s interests include peculiar music,
good books, and drinking too much coffee.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)
    February 15, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    The creature sounds hilarious because of him being this overexciting thing that reminds you of a puppy. I don't know what it's about spooky stories but no matter what age I've been I love them. As you grow up their is even more twisted tales that are oh so fun to read. I think I'm in love with this book. I really want to see if I can get my hands on Stitch Head.

    I think it's because of The Night Before Christmas that I've gotten into books like these. It's also simple monster stories that aren't too scary for little kids that are fun to read. Monsters are loud, gross sometimes, and very likable by being outsiders. I don't know. hey are just great. Lovely review (:

    • Reply
      reviewkidsbooks@gmail.com
      February 15, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      I think you would like this book. I don't know how much longer it will be on NetGalley, so you should request it before it gets archived!

  • Reply
    Alise (Readers In Wonderland)
    February 17, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I agree with Adriana, it reminds me of Tim Burton's stuff, particularly Frankenweenie. I've always wondered about scary stories for kids, if they would be too scary. I know when I was younger they were. This seems more fun than scary though! Glad to hear you and your daughter enjoy them 🙂

    • Reply
      reviewkidsbooks@gmail.com
      February 17, 2013 at 4:25 am

      The thing I like about books like this is that they aren't really scary at all. I always find Tim Burton's things a little too creepy for my tastes. Stitch Head is just a fun story that just so happens to have monsters for characters.

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