Source: Received from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.
Bats and Bones by Jeffrey Hickey
Publisher: Big-n-Boo Productions
Publication Date: October 12, 2015
Bats and Bones is IPPY award winning author Jeffrey Hickey's second work for children. This collection of spooky tales for middle school aged children and above is a subtle masterpiece of fright and emotion. Hickey wrote all the stories, the lush music, and does all the voices for the audio book. His wife, Karen Kiser, contributes the cover art, along with some penny whistle and a little piano. The inside illustrations, layout and design are by Rachel Betz, who also designed Hickey's first work for children, Wages Creek.
This was originally released as a CD only. This is the first edition in print.
I was very interested in this book after reading the synopsis so I decided to give it a try, however I don't think I 'got' it so to speak. Bats and Bones is a book to be spooky and for middle grade readers and I did not find that to be true at all. The stories were not very spooky and since the stories focus on death, dealing with death etc. it seemed to be geared more towards adults - however like I mentioned I may be missing something.
There are three stories in the book - one about a lighthouse, one about a tree, and one about a barber shop and each story is told with a different voice and musical accompaniment. The stories read like non-fiction life stories rather than spooky fiction for kids - although the recording at times did make they seem spookier than what they were. The audio itself made the whole package quirkier and more enjoyable for me, and the images in the book were beautifully drawn and colored.
Overall this wasn't a bad book, my 2 stars mean that it was just OK... nothing spectacular for me to read and it was not what I expected either. I fell like adults will relate to the stories more than middle grade children will.