Monday, December 16, 2019

Review - A Tangle of Brungles

A Tangle of Brungles
by Shobha Viswanath
illustrated by Culpeo S. Fox
Date: 2018
Publisher: Karadi Tales Picturebooks
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

To conjure up the charming Mr. Brungles, a coven of witches stir up the Great Brungle Brew. For this they toss in a parliament of owls, a cloud of bats, and a quiver of cobras, among many others. Do they succeed? The book is a hilarious twist on collective nouns.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

While I like the premise here, it isn't executed all that well. It's a shame, because this could've been quite a cute picture book.

Some witches are feeling restless, and one in particular is feeling... um... amorous? She, along with the others, decide to summon Mr. Brungles with a spell. The ingredients for the spell go into the cauldron, and eventually the witches get... well, a result. It's not exactly the one they--or Mr. Brungles--were hoping for, though.

Setting aside the glaring lack of consent (poor Mr. Brungles is summoned for the pleasure of some old witch, mangled in the process, and then expected to be the love interest of the whole coven--ick!), the story is a little thin and it's glaringly obvious that the plot is just a way to incorporate as many collective nouns as possible. The collective nouns I like. Unfortunately, they're not done consistently; the text for those is set off in coloured caps, but on the very first page, another word is also formatted this way (later, some of the articles aren't formatted like all the others). When a book is trying to teach a concept involving words like this, it needs to be spotless in its execution.

The illustrations are probably the best part. They're creepy and crawly and deliciously dark. These witches would fit in perfectly at Halloween. Unfortunately, the story that's illustrated here is kind of weak.

I'm not sure if I'd really recommend this one or not. It's fun to see all the collective nouns... but the writing and formatting need a bit of cleaning up before I'd hand this to a young reader.

Thank you to NetGalley and Karadi Tales Picturebooks for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.29 out of 5

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