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Boris and the Dumb Skulls
Published: October 2014
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. They decide to form a punk rock band and seek fame and fortune.
But 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. Her husband the Vicomte is not. When Griselda arrives at The Polhill Arms things do not work out as she expects, but unfortunately the evil spirit is still working inside her: it has not forgotten her ghastly plan of how to fill the larder.
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At the thought of fame and freedom Julioso and Aliano strummed their guitars in a frenzy, Benjio thrashed the drums and Boris sang into the mike like a skull possessed, telling of the pain of not being able to dance because he had lost his body. The music spread from the garage, through the ruined tower, down through the dungeon to the vaults below. The Vicomtesse had never heard anything like it. Her body began to sway. Her feet began to tap in time to the beat. She began to jig up and down in a state of high excitement. The Vicomte shook his spanner in disgust!
Boris and the dwarves did not hear the sound of breaking glass as the Vicomtesse kicked out the glass panel on one side of her tank and danced up the stairs, lightly tripping from step to step, drawn towards the music, in search of dancing partners. The Vicomte let out a bellow of disgust, and with his spanner smashed the glass panels on all four sides of his tank. Behind the Vicomtesse came the heavy pounding boots of the Vicomte as he followed her, waving his spanner in the air, cursing dancing, cursing dancing partners.
A great children’s adventure, filled with humour and some excellent characters including witches, magic cats, ghosts, mummies, vampires and of course, a floating skull!
“I’ll get them,” yelled Griselda, raising her magic staff and darting forward. She did not notice a woman with a safety pin through her nose kneeling on the floor, holding her boyfriend by the hair and pounding his head into the floor in time to the beat. “Aaarh!!” screamed Griselda as she tripped. Her magic staff went flying in one direction, her body in another. “Cool!” cried a group of youths as they caught Griselda, spun her round and passed her over the heads of the crowd towards the stage. “Let me down!” she howled, as she was thrown on the stage.
The bouncer was a bulky young man. Mistaking Griselda for an aged groupie, he grasped her by the shoulders, spun her round and kicked her off the stage. She landed on a group of youths swaying trance-like in front of an amplifier. “Cool!” they cried catching her and throwing her back onto the stage. “Boris, save me!” howled Griselda as the bouncer hauled her up, spun her round and kicked her off again.
Iain P W Robertson,Pocketful of Rye
This story revolves around Griselda the Witch and her faithful sidekick, Boris the Skull, who forms a punk rock group. As a typical witch, Griselda is renowned for her bullying ways and the ‘dim, daft dwarves’ are simply tired of being at the butt-end of her remonstrations. As the Skull and the dwarves seek the customary fame and fortune, if not of X-Factor ignominy, some additional characters are introduced to add credibility to the process. Rest assured, I am not going to give away the entire plot! The storyline used is amazingly current and the analogies will ring true for many parents and their charges. Written in a magical and mystical manner, yet drawing in relevant references at every juncture, the text of this 77 page book is delightfully rich and involving. When I read it to our children, both of whom I shall admit are closer to their teenage years, they were still happy for me to carry out the reading, a duty that I have not completed for at least the past four years. Pocketful of Rye
Frank Hinks’ Ramion Collection is a hidden gem of children’s literature and this, the 16th book in the series shines no less brilliantly than its predecessors. Published on October 20th, it makes perfect Halloween reading – funny, ghoulish and gloriously illustrated.
A beautifully produced hardback book just right for reading at bedtime. And what a story to read aloud! The illustrations are bold and colourful, reminding me of The Beatles Yellow Submarine. A very enjoyable escapade, guaranteed to keep the young reader enthralled and entertained!
Tony Boullemier,Author & Journalist
Franks Hinks' crazy characters will have children demanding to go up early for the bedtime story. Boris is the blast from the past!