Review Blog

Jul 19 2010

Scarygirl by Nathan Jurevicius

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2009. ISBN 9781741753707.
(Age 8+) Picture book/Graphic novel. Abandoned by a dumpster along with a host of other rubbish, Scarygirl meets Blister, a cool giant octopus, who takes on the role of her mentor and guardian. Determined to find the man who pervades her fantastical dreams, Scarygirl leaves the peninsula on which she lives, with Bunnuguru, a giant rabbit. Surviving all manner of obstacles, deep ravines, trees looking like giant men, narrow winding bridges, monster filled forests, the pair find themselves in a city where even greater danger lurks. Dressed as a pirate, Scarygirl finds a cafe of sorts where she is directed to an auction house only to see the captured Blister on sale for all to look at and mock.
Scarygirl's endearing smile pervades the whole story, inviting the reader to follow her into all sorts of dangerous situations. Halfway through the novel is an intermission, where Jurevicius takes the opportunity to tell the reader about how the characters are created and drawn, and I can imagine many readers wanting to stop here to try and create the characters for themselves. But the story of Scarygirl will draw them back to read how she succeeds in her quest, the bright, colour filled pages of drawings grabbing the reader's attention all over again.
Readers will love spying out all the hidden and half hidden nuances on each page: Scarygirl's claw hand, the faces in the forest, the fire monster, the amazing cafe in part two, with reminiscences of Star Wars and the Arabian Nights, all adding up to a pleasurable and enthralling reading experience.
A story of love and friendship, Scarygirl displays the talent of Nathan Jurevicius and his creations have taken on a life of their own in websites, model figures and merchandise which readers will want to research.
Fran Knight

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