When an updated version of Brom’s The Plucker was recently released, I jumped on obtaining a copy. Brom’s work has never failed to delight me while simultaneously giving me the creeps. It’s a rare combination. Let’s first make clear that though this book is a fairytale of sorts, it’s for the adults. The kids have plenty of their own anyways.
The tale is about toys, evil spirits, hoodoo, and the way love from children affects toys. Thomas has a lot of toys. His dad constantly brings him new ones from all around the world. Eventually, new toys lose their shine and get shoved to the Underbed. They are neglected and without attention, they grow stiff and unfeeling. Jack, a cheery Jack-in-the-Box, has recently been relegated to this new world. Another new toy joins the group soon though – a Spirit Warden doll from Africa. And it means to take the child’s soul.
I dare you not to read the tale in one sitting. It’s a harrowing and dark adventure that will keep you flipping pages. I love that the book is oversized; it makes you feel like a kid holding a giant storybook. Over 100 of Brom’s paintings fill the carefully textured pages. Brom weaves his words and illustrations together in a careful pattern that is sure to scare the bejeebus out of you.