First off, Júlia Sardà’s illustrations are the perfect mix of shadowy angles for a biography of a horror writer. The double page spread of Castle Frankenstein (a real place! and inspiration, perhaps, for Mary’s famous title) uses a limited dark palette to great effect.
The text, by Linda Bailey, begins when Mary Shelley is a girl, and shows all of those influences that may have sparked her masterpiece, Frankenstein. When she gets older, Mary meets writers and spends stormy evenings reading scary stories. She writes her own scary story as a challenge, and it takes nine months! The importance of imagination and daydreaming, as well as the persistence of a woman (in the early 1800s when men were the writers), are strong themes throughout.
A thoroughly enjoyable picture book biography for all ages.