Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scarum Fair by Jessica Swaim

Swaim, Jessica. Scarum Fair, illustrated by Carol Ashley. Wordsong (Boyds Mills Press, Inc.), 2010. $17.95. PICTURE BOOK. Author Jessica Swaim cleverly takes common fair rides, foods, critter contests, homemade wares, and booths and makes them “scary.” On “The Scary-Go-Round” literally the “fun never ends.” The teacup ride has an interesting twist, while spinning, tea is spilling on you. The frightening food selection includes: sizzling “devil’s food cake,” chilly “I-scream,” and regurgitated “Cat-Hair Stew.” Each poem is filled with clever wordplays that are scary enough to entertain older children, but not too scary for the younger ones. The illustrations by Carol Ashley are ghoulishly good. She combines several mediums (acrylics, graphite, and pen and ink) to achieve a darkly colorful, cartoonish style. A charming poetry collection to read around Halloween or any other time of the year you are interested in a charming scare. EL – ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.

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