Friday, 2 January 2015

Corn Field

Corn Field by Gary Crew, illustrated by Aaron Hill (Windy Hollow Books)
HB RRP $25.95
ISBN: 9781922081377
Reviewed by Anne Hamilton

Slotting deftly into a niche for reluctant male readers with a taste for just a shivery suggestion of horror, this is a picture book for a teen audience.

This is a tricky proposition, because that age group is happy to be seen with a graphic novel but it’s uber-uncool to be spotted reading a picture book. However the macabre aspect has just what it takes to overcome the format and woo the boys in.

Take a spoonful of mystery, a cup of morbid, season with well-paced tension and layer with eerie, almost grungy illustrations. Crew and Hill have teamed up for this unusual offering, aimed mainly at early adolescent males.

One hot sticky day, two boys—fuelled by boredom, bravado and possibly a need to prove their parents and grandparents are ‘fraidy cats—dare to cross THE Cornfield.

Yeah, that cornfield. The one the Pinchy kid went in generations back and never came out. Festering rumours suggest the kid might still be in there. But he can’t be, can he?

So the boys go in.

Short, scary and moody. If you like your horror subtle and suggestive, rather than graphic, this is top stuff.

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