The Skull

A Tyrolean Folktale

Written and Illustrated by Jon Klassen

How can a story be chilling, creepy, and yet sweet at the same time? This is the story of Otilla, a young girl who is running away and discovers an abandoned house in the woods. A skull is living inside and as he shows her around the home, they eat pears, drink tea, and dance in the ballroom. The skull invites her to spend the night and that is when she discovers his secret. From here their odd friendship develops.

For me, the author’s note at the end was the most interesting and touching part of the book. It contains a tribute to what librarians do best. The macabre illustrations are gorgeous. If you love folktales or need to update your 398.2 section, this book is for you.

Reviewed by Kristen Hunt, Librarian, Whittier Elementary School
Review shared in September 2023
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 1-4

The Skull
Written and Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press
105 pages
Release Date: July 11, 2023
ISBN: 9781536223361
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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