Littlest Lovecraft is a series of books retelling Lovecraftian stories in verse and fully illustrated. The stories are crafted by the sisterly duo Tro Rex (text) and Eyona Bella (illustrations). So far they have kickstarted two books: The Call of Cthulhu and The Dunwich Horror. They have just launched a third campaign on Kickstarter.com for The Shadow Over Innsmouth.
I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner to review one or the other of these books here sooner, but when it did, it made sense to coordinate the coverage with the launch of another campaign. More about that later.
First the books! These books are little gems. If you love the Lovecraft Mythos and maybe even have children, you should love these books. They are recommended to readers of 9+ years based on content and language use (many big words!). So, they may not be meant for very young children, but my 5-year-old son insisted I read it to him recently (when he saw The Call of Cthulhu he was convinced it was a story for him). He was intrigued rather than bored or terrified and has wanted me to read it again, and again. Now he’s saying things like “Mommy, why does Cthulhu live in R’lyeh?”!!!
Tro Rex has written rhyming verse to retell each of these most famous Lovecraft stories and it is near perfect. The plot has been encapsulated so well, that you don’t miss a thing. The poetry suits the stories so well, I’m not sure Lovecraft himself could’ve done it better. The rhymes don’t seem at all contrived and the sentence structure is never awkward, despite the iambic tetrameter. Listen to a bit of The Call of Cthulhu:
The artwork for these books is also wonderful. Eyona Bella’s style is so distinctive, I’m sure I would recognize it anywhere. The illustrations do a wonderful job of supporting the imagination in putting pictures to the words. Her use of color is sparing but very effective. Cthulhu’s color is green and whenever he makes an appearance or we’re in a dream sequence this is the predominant color and the Horror (of Dunwich) is a bright yellow with hot pink accents. In fact, the books contain a few pages in a row with a predominant color, and then the color scheme is altered. In this way, your mind is kept engaged visually. The monsters are visually set apart and so stunning that it is genuinely horrifying! The quality of the printing and binding is also top-notch.
There’s an audio version of The Dunwich Horror available at DriveThruFiction (where you can buy all versions of the books that are available) and I highly recommend listening to it while looking at the book. The narration by Dan Putnam is excellent. Have a listen:
I can’t wait for the third book in the series to come out. The Call of Cthulhu, their first venture, was excellent and The Dunwich Horror is even better! What will The Shadow of Innsmouth be like?!?
Tro Rex and Eyo Bella are both very enthusiastic Kickstarters. Their campaigns are always filled with lots of fun, extras (and add-ons) up the wahzoo (postcards, posters, bookmarks, special edition coloring books, dice and coins, t-shirts and tumblers, as well as copies of the previous books in the series!) and these two are just wacky enough. Go here – Littlest Lovecraft – The Shadow Over Innsmouth – to check it out! After the campaign has ended I’m sure they’ll continue, as with the 2 previous ones, with all sorts of chances to win giveaways over on their Facebook Page (Littlest Lovecraft) for a little sharing.
So, what are you waiting for?!? The tentacles are coming!