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When That Book Goes Bad ...

I can imagine - in fact I can believe - that you and I, that all of us, have always thought books to be good. We were wrong, I can tell you that now! Sometimes books are bad. Well, not the books exactly, but their stories: they can be rotten to the core, and yet still be stories we want to read. These bad books still want us to read and explore… so that is what we have done with the second of our three featured blogs, thanks to our friends at Thames & Hudson who want to bundle up 9 books – yes that is 9 books! – and send them to one lucky winner.

What do you have to do to win? Read each of the blogs - this one, the last one and the next one - leave us a comment telling us why bad books are in fact good, and you could be our very lucky winner. What an amazing start to 2022 this could be for someone!

Now to the books that we have to share with you this week. Again, despite their badness I have been blown away by these books. By their quality, by their content, by the desire of the authors and illustrators to instruct, entertain and absolutely delight each and every reader. I have (sort of) grouped the books together to follow (sort of) themes and this second is badness, naughtiness. Feeling naughty and bad? Read on ...

Maybe you love a gruesome tale… in which case The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers could be just the book for you. A collection of fairy tales of the most gruesome type, the ones that will truly raise the hairs on the back of your neck and make you want to sleep with all the lights on! These are the stories of the forest, the place where they live, the place where they have been breathing in the dark air for centuries. Meet the man who likes to eat children - as the title of Jen Campbell's book suggests (it is wonderfully darkly illustrated by Adam de Souza). Then there is a castle that screams at night, and souls trapped by the sea. There are fourteen gruesome tales packed between the covers, stories from around the world. I for one want to take a closer look, but only if you will hold my hand because these are not tales for the fainthearted...

From gruesome, we turn to bad: a Bad Apple to be more precise. It is with a story by Huw Lewis Jones and illustrations from Ben Sanders that we find ourselves meeting an apple. This is not the type of apple to eat, to keep that doctor away. This is a bad apple, an apple that is not normal - not a nice apple at all, in fact. This apple is not a peaceful piece of fruit. Apple takes Pear's chair, he drinks Pea's tea - he is even bad enough to steal cat's hat (that is also, in my opinion, a very brave apple!) It goes from bad to worse - but is Apple going to meet his match in Snake...? Words are not needed in bulk for this story; stunningly simple illustrations truly do jump off the page. This is a story not only of one very bad, rotten-to-the-core apple, but of his comeuppance... Light-hearted and funny, with an important underlying message.

Finally - for this week at least! - we come to the last book of our three, The Library Book. How can this one possibly be bad?! I hear you asking. Well, maybe it isn't, maybe I just included it to trick you... or maybe it is bad... How will you know? Well, you could win yourself a copy of course… But first you could read my mini review right here and now! Well go on, you’re already reading! Just a few more lines won't hurt... Now, The Library Book by Gabby Dawnay and Ian Morris (illustrator) wants you to pick it up and read it. (Of course it does, it is a book after all!) More than that though, it is a glorious book: a book about a library, that room stacked full of books. And that room wants you to come inside and take a look - because there are just so many books stacked in it, too many to recommend and so many that you could only ever just pick the one. Will you risk the choosing? Can you bear the fun? Join Zach and Ro as they discover the magic in each and every book (even the gruesome ones!). Join us too as we continue to celebrate the magic in all the books mentioned in this blog – remember, leave us a comment telling us why bad books are in fact good, and you could be our very lucky winner!


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