All right, well if you’re going to pick a book with pictures that isn’t truly a “picture book” where do you start? Nonfiction works maybe? An old illustrated edition of Dickens? A graphic novel?
There are plenty of interpretations to the challenge, but this book was already on my reading list. And besides, what better pick for a book with pictures, than a book whose entire concept was framed around pictures?
You heard me right. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs was essentially put together with pictures first, and then a story. In other words, Riggs gathered up a variety of old peculiar black and white photos and then created a story based on them. The resulting story is quite interesting.
Jacob is sixteen when his grandfather dies under mysterious circumstances. Though everyone tries to tell him he’s insane, Jacob is certain that the odd death must be related to his grandfather Abe’s old stories of a children’s home in Wales. Though he too once thought these stories of strange and unusual children were fiction, Jacob is still determined to try to find the truth by setting out to find this mysterious orphanage hoping to figure out the mysteries of his family’s past.
I’ll leave it at that to avoid giving too much away. My own feedback on this book is that the story is really interesting. It’s a young adult book, so as often is the case it’s a fast read which is sometimes a nice change of pace. I didn’t think the writing was anything special, or even that the themes were really well-developed. But I nonetheless enjoyed this story, especially due to the intriguing pictures that guide the plot.
At times it did feel a bit disjointed due to the pictures. As though they were the focus rather than the actual story itself. But I enjoyed seeing these old real images that are sort of fascinatingly creepy without being disturbing. It was a fun read for Halloween, engaging a sense of strangeness and suspense and mystery without being a real horror story of any kind. Definitely hope others will consider picking it up. If nothing else, look at the pictures. Those are interesting enough by themselves!