Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright by Chris Riddell
Published by Pan Macmillan
This sumptuously presented novel for 10-12 year old girls is reminiscent of the beautifully bound classics found only in the wealthiest homes or perhaps one or two 'kept as treasured possessions' in those of the average family over thirty years ago. With its blue gilt edging, black ribbon place holder, gold and black end pages and author's gilt name on the cover as well as the added treat of a 'Teeny Weeny Book' in its own special envelope at the back, this book will certainly feel special and make a great gift for the book lover. It is a celebration of classical literature for both children and adults sharing the book with them, particularly those written by women, ideally the sort of literature these 10-12 year old girls will move into reading and even studying over the next few years; Austen, Dickinson, the Bronte sisters, several others and even a reminiscent nod to Hans Christian Anderson.
This 4th book in the award-winning Goth Girl Series, by 2015 UK Children's Laureate Chris Riddell, follows Ada Goth of Ghastly-Gorm Hall and a host of other characters including her father; Lord Goth, Professor Cabbage; a scientist her father patronizes and his children Emily and William, Ada's best friends. The story explores the strange goings on at the Hall around the time of the Literary Dog Show Lord Goth is hosting. Aside from kind, plucky, intelligent, but lonely Ada's desire to solve the mystery of the strange footprints, chewed slippers and eerie night howling, her greatest desire other than pleasing her father is to go to school with Emily and William. What will it take for Lord Goth to let Ada leave the Hall and have the company of other children? And what is to become of her personal tutor and ladies maid if he does?
This review would be incomplete without at least mentioning Riddell's elaborate and detailed black and white full page, half page or smaller illustrations of lords, ladies, children, dogs and monkeys, as well as his Cog's Wheel footnotes, which add to the quirkiness and overall reader's enjoyment of this lovely hardback novel.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Chris Riddell
Title: Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Published: September 2015