Review Blog

Feb 24 2013

The Gorgle by Emma Fischel

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A & C Black, 2012. ISBN 9781408174135/
Recommended for competent readers from 8-10 years of age. Themes: Family, mystery, overcoming fear and grief. Finn is a city kid transplanted to the country when his Mum wins Gulliver House, a dark creepy place with archways and turrets. His sisters and Mum run off to explore the many rooms filled with old furniture, draped with dust cloths and cobwebs hanging from the ceiling. The house has a dark persona that feeds Finn's anxieties and leads to the fear charged meeting with the giant moth-like creature as it hatches from a chrysalis. The tension is counter-balanced with Finn pulling pranks and teasing his sisters Lily and Mo who he calls The Piggy Princesses. They are enjoying exploring the many rooms of Gulliver House searching for the hidden room. Finn's ally and young next door neighbour Oliver the only one who has seen the moth monster helps Finn search the dark woods for him.
This is quite a scary read; the moth is a huge hissing shape that plagues Finn's life. It is an invasive shape shifter that is very frightening. Emma Fischel builds the drama through the use of short sharp descriptive sentences that are enhanced by Peter Cottrill's very dark cartoon style illustrations.
Rhyllis Bignell

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