Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein

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.


About AnEducationInBooks

Wendy BooydeGraaff is the author of Salad Pie, a children's picture book published by Ripple Grove Press. Her work has been published in Emrys Journal Online, The Emerson Review, Jellyfish Review, Bending Genres, SmokeLong Quarterly and Leopardskin & Limes, and is forthcoming in NOON. Read more work at or find her on Twitter @BooyTweets.
This entry was posted in Biography, Canadian author/illustrator, Nonfiction, Picture books and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein

  1. Gabi Snyder says:

    That cover — so perfect! I can’t wait to read this one.

  2. I wrote a PPBF review of a different book about Mary, SHE MADE A MONSTER by Lynn Fulton. I’ll have to find this one and compare the two. It’s especially interesting because Penguin/RandomHouse published both within such a short time period. Thanks for featuring this version!

  3. Another strong woman story today. I wasn’t a Frankenstein fan as a child, so I didn’t pay attention to the author. Didn’t realize what she had to overcome. in the late 19th century. Excellent choice today!

  4. I agree with Jilanne. It will be interesting to compare the two. Interesting revew.

  5. Sue Heavenrich says:

    Interesting that Frank has become so popular! Or is it that writers, in search of a cool story, found one in Mary? I don’t like scary stories, but have enjoyed reading the biographies of Mary Shelley.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.