Frankenstiltskin by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Freya Hartas

Publication Date: 7 October 2021

The Blurb

The second story in a funny, deliciously dark, three-part series of twisted classics, written in verse by award-winning poet Joseph Coelho.

Joining the family business, animal-lover Bryony proves to be an extraordinary taxidermist, whose tender fingers create displays which comfort, educate and astound. But when Byrony’s proud father boasts of her skill, who should come calling but the secretive King of all Mythica. Locking her away, he gives her three horrible tasks … three impossible tasks! It’s only then that a strange, sinister creature emerges from the shadows of the castle, offering Bryony a helping hand… But at what cost?

The Review

Perfect for readers who like their stories with a scare, our second visit to the library introduces us to the tale of Frankenstiltskin where Rumplestiltskin meets Frankenstein.

Bryony’s gloating father sees her whisked away by a king mad with grief to do the impossible; bring back the dead. Her love for animals and gift to see them as they were when alive isn’t enough to complete the macabre tasks set for her, until a grotesque, greedy, magical creature offers her help at huge personal cost.

Carrying a strong ecological message, Joseph has merged two classics into a story all of their own with wit, warmth and wisdom. Freya’s illustrations bring our heroine and Frankenstiltskin to life, along with the bizarre kingdom she is imprisoned in. We also see the effects of the rotten tales in the library on the librarian. I cannot wait for the final instalment in this deliciously dark series of classic fairy-tales, reimagined to see how he fairs next time.

Huge thanks to Walker Books for sending me a finished copy.