The Stumps of Flattop Hill - Cover art

The Stumps of Flattop Hill – cover art image courtesy of Ken Lamug

Ken Lamug’s THE STUMPS OF FLATTOP HILL brings a long-overdue disturbance to the picture book arena. The cover alone promised me things that I was desperate for the story to keep.

And keep them, it did.

THE STUMPS OF FLATTOP HILL is an otherworldly cautionary picture book in which dear little Florence accepts a dare to face perils unknown but ends up Doing Something Else And That Is All I Will Say On The Plot Because Reasons. If you want more, go here or here

What I love about Lamug’s storytelling is that it’s done in fluctuating rhythm with approximate rhyme. The text is one-part concrete poem, one-part summoning spell. I’ve read it silently a bajillion times and out loud thrice. Either way, the cadence gives me the jibblies.

And the illustrations? 

Considering I come from an ancient line of visual artists but cannot sketch worth a bleep, I have unreasonably high expectations for inky line drawings. 

Lamug does not disappoint.

Florence alone in a dark hall

Image courtesy of Ken Lamug’s mad skillz.

And do excuse me while I salivate over the shade-throwing monochromatic crosshatching and tricksy nods to my Patronus, himself, Edward Gorey.

The words and pictures in THE STUMPS OF FLATTOP HILL blend melodically into a narrative that respects and challenges readers.

But readers beware: this is a macabre book. A picture book, yes. But a chilling one with eerie illustrations and unsettling text. 

Flipping brilliant.

Sample text courtesy of Ken Lamug

Well played, Lamug. Well played.

As such, I deduct one star due to 100% personal bias. THE STUMPS OF FLATTOP HILL is not suitable for my youngest niece (aged 6¾) for whom death and dying are triggers. So, she’ll probably be scarred for life when if I read it to her. And I’m guessing she’s not the only one. 

Regardless, THE STUMPS OF FLATTOP HILL is an instant classic in my book[shelf].  

But you don’t have to take my word for it!

Just kidding.

You will.

Read it.

Now.

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Levar Burton knows what happens at The Stumps of Flattop Hill.

Find out more about Ken Lamug here:

http://www.TheStumpsBook.com

or see the book here:

http://amzn.to/1VxXV9f