We recently received a copy of Boris & The Dumb Skulls by Frank Hinks to review - the sixteenth book in the Ramion series. If you're thinking that the names Ramion and Frank Hinks sound familiar, you may remember that we reviewed some of the previous books, The Blizzard Wizard and The Body Collector.
In this latest wild and wacky adventure, Griselda the witch has been drinking too much evil spirit. Boris her pet skull and the dim daft dwarves are fed up of being bullied by her so they decide to form a punk rock band and seek fame and fortune. However, just before they leave for their first gig, two of Griselda’s dead ancestors break out of their glass tanks beneath the ruined tower. Fifi Vicomtesse de Grunch is very keen on dancing and her husband the Vicomte expresses his feelings towards Fifi’s dancing partners with a spanner. When Griselda arrives at The Polhill Arms to reclaim her property (Boris and the dwarves), things do not work out as she expects (perhaps even Griselda is not totally beyond redemption), but unfortunately the evil spirit is still working inside her: it has not forgotten her ghastly plan of how to fill the larder.
Did you get all that ? No ?! Well, you just have to jump in with an open mind and let yourself be swept along by the crazy current of Frank Hinks' narrative !
The inimitable, slightly psychedlic illustrations really help to set the scene and the Madhouse kids were giggling along as usual, as I read the story to them. The books target children aged 7+ and, although I sometimes wonder if some of the content is slightly gruesome or scary, 9-year-old Juliette and even 5-year-old Pierre have no qualms at all, laughing at the mad antics and not finding it scary in the slightest.
The slightly gory content and highly entertaining, outlandish stories will appeal to children of both sexes. Boys are notoriously reluctant readers in that age group so the Ramion series could well be the breath of fresh air that you need to get them avidly turning the pages !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £7.99
Disclosure : I received the book in order to write an honest review.
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