What’s that noise in the deep dark night? Something spooky? That’s for sure. Creaking, whispering, something dropping. Could there be a stranger creeping through the house?
When three little kids explore a creepy old mansion with torchlight and eyeballs wide with fright, they can never imagine their tentative meanderings may just be as scary – if not more so – for a resident ghost, happily minding her own business with her pet be-tentacled creature that lives under the bed.
Who could possibly be more afraid? The invading children? The ethereal little girl? Or the reader?
Using suspense-driven repetition, peppered with palpitating onomatopoeia, author Chris Cheng has penned a spooky tale that will delight children. A charming twist on typical ‘bump in the night’ fear lends whimsy and unexpected emotion to Sounds Spooky – especially when we learn about the death of our little ghost girl via newspaper clippings found in the house, and we can’t help but wonder where her parents are – and why she is all so sadly alone.
But not for long.
The illustrations in this extraordinary book are a feat in construction. Sarah Davis has created a palette that defies and tricks the eye. Has she used oil paint? Clay? Computer-generated art? Photography?
After spending considerable time examining the images in wonder, I raced to the back of the book, hoping for more information – and there it was … Davis has not only created models of each of the book’s characters, she even created an entire haunted house from cardboard and plaster! Combining photography, illustration and computer whizzbangery, the end result is an eye-fest that will entrance all ages. The fine detail is also extraordinary – from the detailed tiles in the kitchen to the gossamer ghost of a girl – this is beautifully-crafted work.
Although Sounds Spooky is an all-round delight, I must admit, the highlight of the book for me was the faces on the children (and the ghost) when they finally meet. Sarah Davis has admitted this is also her favourite page – and it’s no wonder. I doubt the face of a real child could capture more priceless emotion.
A breathtakingly book that’s at once laugh-out loud funny … and frightfully good fun.
Sounds Spooky is published by Random House. Be sure to check out www.sounds-spooky.com!