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The Follower
     

The Follower

by Richard Thompson, Martin Springett
 

The new collaboration between author Richard Thompson and illustrator Martin Springett is an eerie picture-book poem perfect for late-night reading. What is following the young witch home every night past the frightening statues and the sinister life-like trees? Before the witch discovers the identity of "the follower" young readers will find the answer to the

Overview

The new collaboration between author Richard Thompson and illustrator Martin Springett is an eerie picture-book poem perfect for late-night reading. What is following the young witch home every night past the frightening statues and the sinister life-like trees? Before the witch discovers the identity of "the follower" young readers will find the answer to the mystery in the shadowy illustrations. Martin Springett's use of a new style for his illustrations sets the mood perfectly as the witch makes her way home night after night with the mysterious follower close behind. Richard Thompson's haunting poem is a perfect read-aloud for very young readers with plenty of repetition and rhyme.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-What is it that follows the witch home every night as she wends her way past the graveyard, Bogeyman's Bog, the ruins of the Vinegar Works, and other eerie landmarks? Thompson poses this conundrum in a cumulative rhyme that highlights the witch's journey each day of the week. "On Monday,/Dark as shut your eyes,/It followed her home-." In the introductory view, the witch is seen only as a silhouette against the curtains above the bed of a sleeping child. This youngster appears again only on the final page, where the thoroughly creepy mood is instantly dispelled. The stalker is revealed to be a big black cat that is grudgingly welcomed into the household. Springett's handsome wind-driven trees and lurking creatures are shaded in crayon or charcoal, softening the stark settings. Along with the white margins framing the pictures, the spare text pages and blocks beautifully complement and augment the light that infuses the dark scenes. This resolution is mildly humorous and reassuring for young readers. It's also rather a tame ending to the brooding, spooky scheme. The shadow of the Elf King's Hill, the forest where the Gunny Wolf lurks, and the skeleton arms of the Hangman's Birch are among the images richly rendered in words and surreal views, offering fine read-aloud fare for readers who want a not-too-scary book.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
". . . a Halloween book that sets an appropriately spooky tone without being scary, will work well with a younger audience, particularly preschool to primary grades. . . [Richard Thompson] aims to keep a young audience engaged, using a varied vocabulary, imaginative metaphors, and a suitably creepy setting along with the requisite rhyme and rhythm."

- The Quill and Quire

"On Monday,/Dark as shut your eyes,/It followed her home . . .
/Down the lane, over the lawn/Past the Marble Frog and the Granite Swan./She cast a glance — and quick as that —
/ It was gone."

And then, "In Tuesday's fog,/Damp and foul, it followed her home. . ." All the days of the week follow.

The "her" is a witch. The "it?" The very last page reveals the answer to that question. Springett's wonderfully atmospheric paintings cast a spell that augments the magic of Richard Thompson's poem."

- Susan Perren, The Globe and Mail

"From "Monday, Dark as shut your eyes" to "Sunday, Soft with Autumn's sighs," something follows a young witch home each night, through the tangled forest, past lifelike statues, during storms, and beneath a bright full moon. What could it be? Thanks to clues hidden in the art, children will discover the follower's identity (the creature turns out to be surprisingly small, soft, and furry) before the witch does. This picture-book poem combines mystery with a delightfully spooky, lyrical journey through shadowy night, and the cumulative rhyme will be wonderful for reading aloud. Enhancing the drama, Springett's dreamy, well-detailed illustrations in deep hues sweep across the pages, alternating the follower's perspective with wide vistas and overviews of the witch's journey. A charming, not-too-spooky story that can be enjoyed any night, all year round."

- Booklist

"The haunting poem and sinister illustrations of The Follower, Richard Thompson's latest collaboration with Martin Springett, is certain to create a delicious thrill of fear in young listeners. Each day of the week during her walk home, a young witch is followed by a mysterious "it." She passes by an assortment of terrifying objects (both inanimate and otherwise!) including huge marble statues, skeletal trees, Bogeyman's Bog, a Gunny Wolf, barking dogs and monstrous ogres, but each time she turns around, "it" is gone. Not until the last page does the reader discover "its" identity. Thompson's use of cumulative repetition and rhyme reinforces the suspense and makes this book a perfect one for beginning readers to "practice" on after they have heard it.

The Follower is a beautiful book. Each piece of text is inset into Springett's shadowy illustrations, all of which are done in muted colours perfectly capturing the dark, nightmarish mood of the story. The artist's clever foreshadowing of the ending will delight young readers as they go back through the book to find the clues which will solve the mystery...

The Follower will make a worthwhile addition to the library's collection of "scary Hallowe'en" books. Teachers and librarians should find it an excellent read-aloud for primary children at any time of the year, and it is certain to inspire young readers to attempt to read it on their own thereafter.

Highly recommended."

- CM Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781550418804
Publisher:
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
Publication date:
07/28/2003
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
583,427
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
3 Months to 5 Years

Meet the Author

Richard Thompson's works have earned him a Mr. Christie's Book Award Silver Seal and a Governor General's Award nomination. A popular touring author and storyteller, Richard lives with his wife and daughter in Prince George, British Columbia. Visit Richard's web site at www.drawandtell.com.

Martin Springett has earned the Aurora Award for Fantasy and Science Fiction Illustration, and the CLA's Notable designation. Also an accomplished musician, Martin lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and two daughters.

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