29 April 2021
Mary and Frankenstein: The true story of Mary Shelley by Linda Bailey and Júlia Sardà Andersen Press 9781783447633 [originally published in hardback as Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein] In this picturebook, Linda Bailey tells Mary’s story focusing on the salient details of interest to young people using an immediacy of language - short sentences, the present tense and a direct address to the reader. [...] The centrepiece of the book is the meeting of minds at the villa near Lake Geneva where Mary, her stepsister Claire, the poets Shelley and Byron and Dr Polidori challenge each other to write ghost stories and from whence the idea for Frankenstein came. [...] Full of feeling and aimed at young adults rather than children, this book is inspiring for the way it exemplifies the evolution of creativity as Mary develops the creature at the centre of her famous novel Frankenstein. [...] The sombre shades of the colour palette used by Felicita Sala capture the austere atmosphere at the house on the shores of Lake Geneva where Frankenstein’s monster was born. [...] Emma Carroll weaves in many elements related to the myths that have developed around the Frankenstein story – a girl struck by lightning and a determined and driven scientist – and brings to light prejudices of the time towards women and people of colour.