Meet Ada Goth. She lives in Ghastly-Gorm hall with her father, Lord Goth, lots of servants and at least half a dozen ghosts, but she hasn’t got any friends to explore her enormous, creepy house with. Then, one night, everything changes when Ada meets a ghostly mouse called Ishmael. Together they set out to solve the mystery of the strange happenings at Ghastly-Gorm hall, and get a lot more than they bargained for….
If you have read through my blog you will know how much we love books and think that reading with your children is so important. Lately we have got into a routine again of reading stories before bed and it doesn’t stop there. BG1 constantly has a book in her hand, and LM – now he started to read more independently – is reading more often. I find myself when trying to choose books for the children that I tend to go for the books that I read as a child with the likes of Harry Potter, Narnia, and Tracey Beaker. There are so many more new Authors that I haven’t heard of or explored. BG1 being a little book worm that she is loves to find new books to read and new authors that she hasn’t come across.
So when we were given an opportunity to read Goth girl and the ghost of a mouse by Chris Riddell we were both very excited. We hadn’t come across this series before nor had we read books by Chris Riddell.
When the book arrived the first thing that caught my eye was the deep purple colour. Purple is my favourite colour and I knew from this moment that me and BG1 would love this book. Also on the edge of the book was purple embossed flourishes and skulls. It is a beautiful and clean presented book.
I then noticed that not only did Chris Riddell write the book but he also illustrated it. I love when authors also illustrate their books, BG1 has said for many years now that she can’t decide whether she wants to be an Author like Roald Dahl or an illustrator like Quentin Blake and I am always telling her that she can be both and like to show her work where authors are also illustrators. Chris Riddell is a great example that I now reference for her to be inspired by.
The book itself contains 219 pages, the paper is an off white, thick and durable. BG1 has already opened and bent every page of the book, folded the corners when BG1 couldn’t find her bookmark and slept with it under her pillow.
The book starts by briefly giving a backstory into Ada goth’s life. Her mother dies from a typrope accident when Ada was a small baby and her father is very unhappiness and lives his days writing long poems. He believes a child should be heard and not seen so Ada ha s to were big clumpy boots so Lord Goth can hear her coming. Ada is left on her own for most of the time and her father avoiding her.
There are numerous sketches throughout the book which I love. There are so many interesting characters drawn throughout and I love that it has a map of Ghastly-Gorm Hall. The sketches through out are a big part of what makes this book so exciting. I cannot express enough how much I love the sketches throughout the book. They help with visualizing each character and add a humour to the book.
What I find especially charming is the added footnote on certain pages. It actually contains a sketch of a severed foot holding a quill. According to the book it is the severed foot of a famous writer who lost it at the battle of Baden-Baden-Wurttenberg-Baden. Fairly early in the book we also meet the Polar explorer that was made by a scientist from body parts left from the same battle.
Ishmael the mouse was killed by a mouse trap and meets Ada – Goth girl shortly after. Ishmael and Ada want to stop any more mice being killed by traps and set about getting rid of it. The traps were set up by the indoor games keeper Maltravers who was up to no good. Ada and Ishmael set about their adventure trying to find out what Maltravers was up too. Along the way they meet new characters and people that Ada had not met before. Including more children who she set up the Attic club with.
Don’t Let the title fool you. This book is not just for girls, LM enjoyed the book just as much when I read out loud to him.
What we liked about the book was the colourful and quirky characters. There were so many. Throughout the books the were a little humour about the story that parents would get. Characters that resembled well known characters from popular books such as the governess Jane Ear and there were the secret garden and the ever-more-secret garden.
Even though there were such colourful characters the story still had an element of realism. It didn’t feel so far fetched that you couldn’t believe a word of what was going on. It still felt believable. Vampires included.
We loved most about this book…..
Both Bg1 and I agreed that our favourite part of the book was the ending. We wouldn’t want to spoil it for you, you will have to read it and find out.
We enjoyed this book very much, and even though we tried to find something about the book that we didn’t like we really couldn’t. It was enjoyable and entertaining to read to BG1 and LM.
Have you read any Chris Riddell books? Which is your favourite? Have you read Goth Girl? What is your favourite part of the story?
But wait! There are more from Goth girl:
And new!!! Goth girl and the sinister symphony out September 2017
We were sent this book for review. All opinions and words are my own.
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