Kirkus Reviews QR Code
PASSION AND POISON by Janice M. Del Negro


Tales of Shape-Shifters, Ghosts, and Spirited Women

by Janice M. Del Negro & illustrated by Vince Natale

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5361-1
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

A slim volume of seven stories, ranging from shivery to downright chilling, meant to be told or read aloud. Del Negro uses traditional folklore motifs in these brief tales, but grounds them in precise language. There’s a version of “Mr. Fox” called “The Severed Hand” and an inventive use of The Green Man figure in the last story, “Hide and Seek.” There, a mean girl called Little Debbie gets her scary comeuppance. In the “Sea Child,” a mourning mother rescues a lost babe with the help of its ghostly mother; in “Rosie Hopewell,” a drunken and abusive father gets his due, possibly from a drowned kitten. The language is cadenced and carefully chosen, and Natale’s black-and-white illustrations are properly spectral and modestly elegant. Teens young and old will enjoy these gothic tales. (Short stories/horror. 12-15)