Title : Storm
Author : Kevin Crossley-Holland
Illustrator : Alan Marks
Publisher : Egmont Press
Year of publishing : 2010 (First published in 1985)
Age Suggestion : 7+
Type : Chapter books
This book first published in 1985, very old book. But, I can’t categorize it as classic book because classic isn’t only about age, but also about the influence they bring out even until now! So, eventhough I like this book, unfortunately, it doesn’t have the quality to be classic. So sorry, Mr. Kevin.
“Storm” is about this little girl who is always playing alone. Her father is just too old to expose to beach wind. And her mother everyday complained that she felt as stiff as a winging hinge.
Annie, that is the little girl’s name, actually has an older sister, but she’s already married, and even pregnant, and live with her husband, of course. Even so, she’s quite happy and perfectly okay to play alone. Only there’s one thing that bothers her.
“The only thing that Annie didn’t like were the steely winter days when it began to grow dark before she came home for school.”
And to make it worse, there’s a ghost that live in the ford where she must pass through to get home! Poor Annie! Once, Mr. Elkins even said that he can hear the sound of whining and shouting, but cannot see any man or horse. Must be terrifying! Annie always run fast so she can pass the ford before day gets dark!
However, she must challenge herself when her sister’s pregnancy is due in the middle of storm time. And Annie’s really brave! She offers herself to go to call the doctor to save her sister. Coincidentally, there is a man riding a horse who offers to take her to the doctor in town. Annie’s really reluctant, but their parents force her to go with him. Well, of course, they can’t let their precious daughter comes walking in the middle of the storm.
Who is this guy anyway? Is he really a ghost, who lives in the ford?
According to the plot, I think it’s more suitable for children who’s already fluent in reading (the publisher said so, too). Maybe 7 or 8 years old children, because it’s already a little bit complex. But, the story itself is really interesting and even though there are many words, more than the picture, you will not get bored reading this.
First of all, I love how the author begin the story.
“Seven swans a-swimming,” sang Annie, “six geese a-laying…” It’s interesting song, I want to sing it with Annie already. Also, Mr. Kevin Crossley-Holland perfectly illustrates Annie as the little cheerful girl. I mean, happy-cheerful girl will love to sing, right?
The message from the author also quite interesting. Usually, adults love to say, no need to be afraid, because there’s no such a thing as ghost! Adults love to be in denial instead of facing the problem and get the best solution for the problem, aren’t they? But, Mr. Kevin Crossley-Holland send different message in this book. No need to be afraid of ghost because they could be good and gentle as human, or more than human maybe? At least, they’re not all bad.
Mr. Alan Marks drew the illustration with the realistic watercolor painting as well, and the artistic shading he put in his drawings are lovely. I love it! Old folks have their own way to illustrate something. In modern days, the illustrators will go as far as explore many things as their character. Maybe human child with the green skin or pink hair? Or making a drawings that look like children’s drawing? In old children’s books, however, we will usually see the realistic drawings just like Mr. Alan Marks did here.
Well, of course we still always make an exception for Mr. Quentin Blake or Dr. Seuss who always go beyond our imagination. I think that’s why their books are mostly qualified as classics!