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The Squickerwonkers
     

The Squickerwonkers

3.0 2
by Evangeline Lilly, Johnny Fraser-Allen (Illustrator)
 

Meet Selma of the Rin-Run Royals, a clever little girl who is spoiled to the core. One day Selma stumbles upon a band of colorful marionettes, and gets more than she bargained for. The remarkable Squickerwonkers of the fabulous Squickershow are about to teach Selma that she’ll not always get her way.

Evangeline Lilly is best known for her work as an actress

Overview

Meet Selma of the Rin-Run Royals, a clever little girl who is spoiled to the core. One day Selma stumbles upon a band of colorful marionettes, and gets more than she bargained for. The remarkable Squickerwonkers of the fabulous Squickershow are about to teach Selma that she’ll not always get her way.

Evangeline Lilly is best known for her work as an actress, but her foremost passion has always been writing. This book is her first published work. Beautifully illustrated by Johnny Fraser-Allen, this eccentric and visually stunning cautionary tale will appeal to adults and children alike.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/06/2014
Actress Lilly (Lost) dives into the dark and menacing in her first picture book. It stars a girl named Selma, who leaves a fairground and ventures into a lonely caravan. Inside, a clan of eerie puppets appears onstage as a disembodied voice introduces each one and his or her distinctive vice. Greer the Greedy “loves to pick pockets,/ Small purses and lockets/ And hide what she finds in her hair.” Fraser-Allen, a sculptor and visual artist for film, gives the marionette family wrinkled, dried-apple faces; dresses them in ragged formal wear; and puts coins where their eyes should be. Purposely provoking their young visitor, the puppets expose Selma’s own vice—she’s a member of the mysterious “Rin-Run Royals” and a spoiled brat. “I swear you will pay,/ For your childish display,/ For having your wee bit of fun!” she yells. Fraser-Allen’s grotesqueries are more of a draw than the sometimes-lumpy rhymes (“Then humming a tune/ They popped her balloon/ And stepped back to watch her unfurl”), but fans of Gris Grimly and other creators of gentle horror should find their imaginations piqued. Ages 5–8. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
“More Grimm than Disney, Lilly and Fraser-Allen are unafraid to challenge their young readers and offer up a cautionary tale that promises to delight those willing to take the journey.” - Comics Online 

"Mystery, misanthropy, and mischief combine in this delightfully dark cautionary tale, written in an absorbing limerick style." - Foreword Reviews

"The Squickerwonkers is a strange and wacky book but a fun one all the same. Lilly’s set-up of the story definitely makes it seem as though we could potentially see more of the Squickerwonkers in later installments (which I, for one, will be looking forward to!)." - Mugglenet

"She’s not underselling it: parts Brothers Grimm, Roald Dahl and Tim Burton. The Squickerwonkers lurks at the shadowy end of the kids-lit spectrum” - Total Film

"Evangeline Lilly's The Squickerwonkers is a creepy crawly delight." - Barnes & Noble Book Blog 

The Squickerwonkers is an amazing book.” - Comic Vine

"Delightfully dark cautionary tale, written in an absorbing limerick style." - Foreword Reviews

"A clever, creepy children's book." - Vulture

"The rare kind of kids' book that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike." - Movies.com

"The dark, alluring tale of a spoiled girl who's taken in by a band of eccentric marionettes." - USA Today 

"[a] delightfully dark read, illustrated in at once unsettling and beautiful fashion by WETA designer Johnny Fraser-Allen" - Comics Alliance

"With Squickerwonkers, Lilly set out to write a book that both children and parents could enjoy — since parents will be the ones reading the book over and over. She has succeeded." - She Knows

"Thanks to consistently playing tough, independent, ass-kicking women, it's easy to imagine that Evangeline Lilly spends her down time climbing mountains or big-wave surfing, but the truth is she's actually a very gifted writer. She's written a truly delightful and sophisticated children's book called The Squickerwonkers, and the easiest way to pitch it is to say were it a movie, it'd be right at home alongside the likes of Coraline and ParaNorman." - Movies.com

Kirkus Reviews
2014-10-01
Actress Lilly makes her picture-book debut. Opening with a slant rhyme, the preface claims Selma discovered a "wagon-like ride," though how this is possible when she's just "wandered away from a fair" is puzzling. A disembodied voice welcomes her and—over the course of 10 action-void pages—introduces the nine creepy Squickerwonker marionettes. Verse peppered with odd word choices and awkward phrasing makes it clear that rhyme takes precedence over story. While the illustrations only occasionally succeed in highlighting the Squickerwonkers' unsavory qualities, Fraser-Allen does a commendable job of creating an eerie atmosphere. When Selma bravely joins the Squickerwonkers onstage, they purposefully pop her balloon (evidently prized, though it is not mentioned in the text before this). Her subsequent tantrum gets her labeled a brat and turned into a Squickerwonker herself (with very Coraline-esque coin eyes). Readers may wonder why a girl who stands up for herself is characterized as spoiled and punished. Is this book a cautionary tale? Perhaps, but its moral is uncertain, especially given the rushed and unclear ending.While it's gratifying to see a story that trusts readers with fear, the lack of a substantial plot and poor rhyme quality make this one to pass by, Peter Jackson's imprimatur in the introduction notwithstanding. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781783295456
Publisher:
Titan
Publication date:
11/18/2014
Pages:
42
Sales rank:
582,182
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Evangeline Lilly is a Canadian actress who starred as Kate Austen in ABC's Lost. Lilly is also known for her roles in the feature films Afterwards,The Hurt Locker, and Real Steel. Lilly appeared in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and will appear in The Hobbit: There and Back Again, the final film in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy.

Johnny Fraser-Allen is a senior sculptor and conceptual designer at WETA workshop where he has worked since his teens. His film credits include Andrew Adamson's Narnia Chronicles, Stephen Spielberg's Tintin, and Peter Jackson's King Kong and The Hobit trilogy.

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The Squickerwonkers 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 6 yr old granddaughter loved it.