Bonesville

Jean-Luc Fromental, illus. by Joëlle Jolivet. Abrams, $18.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2277-6
A bone-stealing monster is attacking the skeletal citizens of Bonesville, and Sherlock Bones must solve the mystery. Fromental and Jolivet, the duo behind 365 Penguins, return with a visually dazzling and genuinely suspenseful story set in a Gallic-looking town that would be quaint if not for all the skeletons running around. Jet-black backgrounds make the skeletons’ pale bones pop, along with otherworldly accents of vermilion, yellow, and midnight blue. Creepy scenes abound: T-Bone, the butcher, appears in a bloody apron hacking away at a carcass before the monster makes off with his fibula, and Jolivet creates some terrifying portraits of the imagined monster, based on the victims’ descriptions (the culprit turns out to be more benign). The conclusion isn’t quite as satisfying as the buildup that leads to it, but readers who aren’t easily scared will enjoy losing themselves in this hallucinatory city of the dead. Ages 5–7. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2016
Release date: 08/16/2016
Genre: Children's
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