Synopses & Reviews
Skelly, a little skeleton girl, finds a bone one day. Who could it belong to? As Skelly searches for the bone's owner, she questions everyone from her skeletal goldfish, to her man-eating plants, to the monster who lives beneath the stairs. Finally, Skelly locates the bone's owner--and makes a new friend. Rising talent Jimmy Pickering has created a mildly spooky and totally original cast of characters who populate Skelly's Tim Burton-esque world.
"Skelly, a pint-size Day of the Dead girl with pumpkin-orange bobbed hair, finds a misplaced bone and seeks its owner. Pickering's (Bubble Trouble) mixed-media illustrations picture Skelly in a black dress, white petticoat and buckle shoes, exposing an eerily wide cranium and delicately articulated hands. Readers see her arm bones, ribs and pelvis only when she X-rays herself: 'Could it be a bone from me? No, it wasn't mine.' Skelly tickles 'the monster under the stairs' to see whether 'he still had his funny bone.' She questions tea-sipping ghosts and man-eating plants, and gets a quick entomology lesson ('Simply put, we spiders don't have bones'). In the end, a skeleton dog digging in her garden moviegoers will recall the pup in Tim Burton's Corpse Bride happily claims the lost item. Despite the ghoulish subtext, midnight palette and inky backdrops, Pickering keeps the mood breezy; Skelly bats long eyelashes and the dog wags a spiny tail. Like Margery Cuyler and S.D. Schindler's comical Skeleton Hiccups, this stylized tale suggests there's nothing to fear from Halloween haints. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This charmingly simple tale would be fun in any setting, but this is not just any setting. Skelly's world is depicted through Goth-looking mixed-media illustrations in purple and black that feature skewed angles and wittily morbid details." School Library Journal
"Pickering uses mixed media to personalize what are often Halloween cliches, from the bony fish with a coffin inside his bowl to the 'dolls' from outer space." Children's Literature
"Reminiscent of the works of Tim Burton, this gothic treat is perfect for those who like to be scared just a tiny bit." Kirkus Reviews
a little skeleton girl,
finds a bone.
Whose is it?
It doesn't belong to her fish,
or her pet bat,
or her man-eating plants,
or anyone else she asks.
But when she finds out
whose bone it is,
she gets an especially
About the Author
Jimmy Pickering has illustrated a number of picture books, including Bubble Trouble by Stephen Krensky and Sloop John B: A Pirate's Tale by Alan Jardine. He also creates original art, which he shows at galleries, including Storyopolis in Los Angeles and Lunar Boy Gallery in Astoria, Oregon. He lives in Oregon with his loyal canine companions, Pugsley and Wednesday.