Hovering continually between dream and reality, the layout, intricacy and deep autumnal palette of Júlia Sardà’s illustrations are beautifully evocative of mood and era. Bookish and wildly imaginative, the strong patterns and detailed designs of the interiors convey the suffocation of Mary’s upbringing. There are recurring motifs of gothic horror throughout; Mary Wollstonecraft’s headstone, skulls, falling rose petals; Mary lies stiffly in her bed as if already in her grave or waking from a nightmare. The monster made real looms over Mary in her chamber, a creature conjured from her subconscious and onto the page. The weather is equally forbidding; shapeshifting clouds are either storming or about to break. The only calm sky is in Scotland where Mary finds temporary respite. Júlia Sardà’s sumptuous artwork brings a unique insight into the mind of a creative genius and the enduring legacy of Mary and Frankenstein over two centuries; it is a unique and richly satisfying visual experience.
It began with a girl named Mary. She liked to daydream and imagine. And she grew up to write Frankenstein.
The inspirational true story of the great writer Mary Shelley, brought to life for children in this stunning picture book by multi-award winning author Linda Bailey and with beautiful illustrations from Júlia Sardà.
Mary loves stories, but the stories in her daydreams are far more thrilling than those in any book. After a troubled childhood, Mary runs away to Switzerland with the famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, her step-sister in tow. One dark and stormy night at his house by the lake, they huddle around the fire, telling ghost stories. But Mary can imagine better than those! After learning about electricity that can make dead frogs twitch, she has a nightmare that triggers the birth of one of the greatest scary stories of all time: Frankenstein…
Praise for the illustrator: ?Júlia Sardà’s illustrations are dark, dream-like, detailed? THE TIMES