November 19, 2017

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Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli by Ben Costa & James Parks | SLJ Review

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redstarCOSTA, Ben & James Parks. Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli. illus. by Ben Costa. 208p. Knopf. Jun. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399556135; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9780399556142.

Gr 6 Up –Rickety Stitch is a skeleton minstrel who travels throughout the fantasy realm of Eem with Goo, his jiggling cube of a sidekick. Unlike the other reanimated skeletons in this world, Rickety retains his personality, but he has no memory of who he was when he was alive, and the only key to his past is a song whose fragments come to him in a dream. So in true buddy fashion, the duo venture on an epic quest to find the plucky troubadour’s origins. Drawn in stark black-and-white lines with somber gray shading, the dream sequences contrast beautifully with the lurid colors and chaotic art style of the rest of the book. The art brings the story to life, making the characters believable and adding dimension to personalities. The plot is an exciting blend of creepy and humorous, with a truly amazing amount of world-building and history, making the setting every bit as captivating as the characters. VERDICT Conjuring up an entertaining bard’s tale, this adventure is sure to appeal to anyone who loves high fantasy punctuated with comedy, especially older fans of Jeff Smith’s “Bone.”–Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT

This review was published in the School Library Journal May 2017 issue.

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