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Friday, October 16, 2009
Illustrated Friday: The Mystery of Eatum Hall
Fall is here, Halloween is coming soon, and wry tongue-in-cheek jokes and plays on words will never, ever go out of style.
The Mystery of Eatum Hall is like an Agatha Christie mystery reworked into a picture book. It features Horace and Glenda Pork-Fowler on an adventure to eat gourmet food, compliments of Dr. Hunter (a wolf, naturally,) the owner of Eatum Hall. Upon arrival they discover Dr. Hunter has left them in the care of a fully automated house for "the ultimate dining experience." Naturally, hilarity ensues, British accents are written in, and everything seems to be going swimmingly, until A SINISTER PLOT DEVELOPMENT. What will happen to Mr. and Mrs. Pork-Fowler? Will evil Dr. Hunter have his way? What ends up in the gigantic pie?
My favorite thing about these illustrations is definitely the level of detail that's included. The people behind the book, John Kelly and Cathy Tincknell, took great pains to make the manor scenes look realistic and the comic elements to be obvious enough to pick up on but not so obvious that they're not funny. Although the story is easy enough to follow, the complexity of the illustrations means that most kids would probably like it a lot more if an adult shared this story with them.