ILLUMINIGHTMARE by Lucy Brownridge


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 12
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Colored filters transform 10 haunted world sites from “Earthly” to “Supernatural.”

As in earlier outings from the Milan-based design collective Carnovsky (Illuminatlas, 2018, etc.), a chromatic layering technique makes the illustrations semiabstract tangles to the naked eye. They become three different scenes when viewed through the small squares of green, red, and cyan acetate provided. Though the gimmick doesn’t work all that well—there is considerable spillover from the red scene (which shows actual people and artifacts) into the green (buildings and architectural details), and the cyan collage of ghosts and horrors is murky even in very bright light—still, it does add distinct atmosphere to the mix of history and mystery at each stop, from the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to San Juan Chamula Cemetery in Mexico’s Chiapas highlands and Bhangarh Fort in Rajasthan. The assorted images assembled in each superimposed picture are laid out and identified individually on subsequent pages with commentary that varies from eerie to tongue in cheek. Though Rasputin is misplaced in the “Supernatural” category and a claim that Howard Carter’s ghost haunts the Great Pyramid at Giza seems to be an invention, readers will find chills and chuckles alike, whether meeting the Black Forest’s “badly behaved monks and pagan witches” or paying a visit to Dracula’s Bran Castle, where “centuries of spirits linger, waiting to tell their tales of medieval megalomaniacs, bloodthirsty ghouls, heartbroken queens and socialist revolutionaries.”

Not exactly seamless but spooky fun nonetheless. (Informational novelty. 7-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-78603-547-9
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2019


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