Magrit by Lee Battersby, illustrated by Amy Daoud (Walker Books)
HC RRP $ 19.99
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis
Australian writer Lee Battersby’s work covers many diverse themes and genres. This unique and haunting book will leave a lasting impression on the reader. It is beautifully presented in a special hardcover edition with a textured finish and pages with tinted edges. The contents deserve the attention its appearance commands. The silhouetted illustrations by Amy Daoud add to the atmosphere that is the breath of the story.
Magrit lives in the cemetery. There is one corner that she stays away from. It fills her with fear and cold. Her best friend, teacher and protector is Master Puppet, whom she has created from scraps of anything and everything found in the grounds, then tied together with material taken from the graves. He talks into her mind and they are everything to each other until the stork drops a baby over the rooftops.
Against all Master Puppet’s warnings, Magrit decides to keep and raise the boy herself. She has no idea what the outcome will be. Nothing can make her change her mind. The boy becomes all things to her; everything she never had or will have. It is the entrance of the voice of Skeleton girl into her head that heralds the beginning of the end.
The evocative language, strong narrative voice, and otherworldly images push the reader to devour the contents of this book in one sitting. Its themes cover ‘growth and death, and cycles of life’. This remarkable book is like nothing you’ve read before and is ideal for the 12-112 age groups.