Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Julie Sarda
Hardcover, 56 pages
I won a copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review.
This is a tale of how a girl of eighteen came to write a novel that would remain popular hundreds of years after her death.
I’m ashamed to admit I’ve yet to read Frankenstein (it’s on my list, I swear!), but I couldn’t resist putting my name in for an illustrated children’s book about Mary Shelley.
August 30th marks Shelley’s birthday, and with a release date of August 28, Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein comes at a perfect time.
This is a lavishly illustrated tale that gives a brief history of Mary’s life and how she came to write Frankenstein and I learned a lot. Of course, I knew next to nothing about Mary to begin with – but that’s why I love books like this. While this book is intended for a younger audience, it’s a great way to learn a few quick facts while enjoying excellent artwork.
In just over 50 pages, Bailey details Mary’s childhood and loss of her mother, brief exile to Scotland, whirlwind romance with Shelley and her inspiration for her novel thanks to ghost stories ready by the poet Bryon and her vivid dreams.
The color palette used by Sarda (whose style you may recognize from The Liszts) is deep and rich and lends to the creepy atmosphere. Bailey includes a few pages of more detailed information about Mary’s life and the inspiration behind this book.
It’s a short book, so I’ll keep my thoughts short too. If you’re a fan of non-fiction books for kids, or looking for a read that will inspire younger readers to follow their imaginations and embrace their scarier dreams, I highly recommend this. Or if you’re just a fan of wonderfully illustrated children’s books, I think you’ll want to check this out.
As a bonus, here’s a mini-Judging post: