Book Review: Stitch Head

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Author: Guy Bass
Illustrator: Pete Williamson
ISBN: 978-1-84715-183-4
RRP: $9.99

Stitch Head, quite an unassuming little creature; the very first of his kind. A creation who is almost-alive, almost-human and very definitely kinda cute. But the cute could just be me reading from an adults point of view.

Guy Bass has created engaging monsters, suitably gruesome yet never actually scary. They are horrible and horrendous, gruesome and enough to scare the wits out of entire towns but it’s from a light-hearted perspective and more comedic than terrifying.

I have long loved Frankenstein and most of it’s offspring, none have been quite so tailored to children and entertaining and that is just what this is. Mad Professor locked in the castle on the hill, just outside of town, building creatures and inhabiting them with an almost-life.

Last night I started this as a little time filler before bed and finished it this afternoon, I then headed straight off to do a little background. The book is published by Stripes Publishing and they have it listed for 7-9 year olds. I would be more than happy with the contents for that age group but some of the words may be a little challenging for them to read alone, fabulous for a nightly read to share though. I think you could get away with it for older readers but enthusiastic and accomplished readers may find it a little simple.

stitch head

There are many things to love about Stitch Head, his character and loyalty teach valuable lessons but his propensity for hiding in the deepest dungeon and not making friends perhaps not so much. His growth throughout the book does show a change in that attitude though, which is much better for children to learn.

The alliteration and use of language has fabulous flow, engaging little imaginations – okay, yes and mine – and allowing for the build of excitement.

The illustrations are gothic and age appropriate, sure to capture the attention of readers, and those being read to. They capture the essence of the story and match what I can see in my minds eye as I read along.

Here is where we meet Stitch Head and, though he is already over 50 years old, this is where his adventures begin. Having spent the majority of his almost-existence in the shadows of Castle Grotteskew, only seen when his assistance is required by new creatures and even then only briefly, spending his time in the deepest of dungeons far from where anyone else wants to go. He has explored the castle top to bottom and he is expert at getting around without being seen.

If there’s a not so little person in your life that loves a little adventure, excitement and is a budding fan of the horrible then they are really going to love this. I don’t think there is anything in there that would even upset the more sensitive reader.

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