TITLE: Passion and Poison: Tales of Shape-Shifters, Ghosts, and Sprited Women
AUTHOR: Janice M. Del Negro
ILLUSTRATOR: Vince Natale
PUBLISHER: Marshall Cavendish Children's Books
PUBLICATION DATE: 9/1/2007
INSIDE COVER SUMMARY: Janice M. Del Negro's unique storyteller's voice enriches this collection of eight original tales about strong, resolute females. Whether she's spinning a story about a brave housekeeper who does not suffer fools gladly or a woman who uses her wits to avenge her sister's death, she embroiders her tales with elegant language and vivid imagery. There are characters and settings that will chill the bones, from the skulls in a moonlit mausoleum to the apparition of a wealthy woman who turns up "in a cyclone of light and fog" to three cauldrons filled with hair, bones, and blood. Mysterious shape-shifters and ghostly figures appear, but the women here handle them with grace and conviction. As these characters act to achieve justice and fairness, they become heroines in the landscape of the imagination.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: I thought this book was going to be really terrifying, but it was not super scary. The book states that it is for ages 10 and up, so it's more of a middle grade than a young adult book. This was a very quick book to read through, and I was thoroughly entertained. The stories are quick and slightly spooky. I really enjoyed the illustrations that are scattered throughout the book, they helped to set the mood. My favorite story in the collection is Sea Child and I also really enjoyed The Severed Hand.
COVER: The cover of this is pretty creepy. The pop of red on the woman's necklace and the red squiggly title just stand out and make you immediately think of blood.
**I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine for my honest review.