The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby

Hello and happy Friday bookish friends! Today I’m delighted to share my review of The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby ♥️


A picture paints a thousand lies…


Romilly lives in a ramshackle house with her eccentric artist father and her cat, Monty. She knows little about her past – but she knows that she is loved.

When her father finds fame with a series of children’s books starring her as the main character, everything changes: exotic foods appear on the table, her father appears on TV, and strangers appear at their door, convinced the books contain a treasure hunt leading to a glittering prize.

But as time passes, Romilly’s father becomes increasingly suspicious of everything around him, until, before her eyes, he begins to disappear altogether.

In her increasingly isolated world, Romilly turns to the secrets her father has hidden in his illustrated books, realising that there is something far darker and more devastating locked within the pages…

The truth.

My Thoughts

I launched myself into this book knowing absolutely nothing about it nor whether it would be at all my thing, but JUST WOW.  As Crosby herself warned me; do not let the pretty drawing on the cover fool you.  This is a dark, gothic-y-esque tale and and despite the fact I finished it almost a week ago, I still can’t stop thinking about it.  I was utterly bewitched by Crosby’s sorcery!


The Illustrated Child is an absolute gem of a book; a true wonder.  It reads like an adult fairly tale with adventures and mystery aplenty, perhaps in the vein of Enid Blyton; replete with ghosts and fairies and spirits.


I was totally mesmerised by the romantic feel of Crosby’s depictions; she had me firmly ensconced in her words right from the opening lines.  This book has an almost ethereal quality to it and the beguiling prose was almost other worldly in the way that it drew me in.  Haunting yet enticing, The Illustrated Child conjured up such vivid imagery, it was truly magical.


Dealing with difficult themes including the cruel clasp of dementia on a loved one and the perhaps questionable upbringing of a child; Crosby brings this enchanting story alive with both the frivolity of childhood and the fear of the unknown.


Dark, hypnotic and quite simply wonderful; The Illustrated Child has rocketed straight into my “Top Books of 2020 so far” pile; this book about a treasure hunt is a treasure all by itself.


The Illustrated Child is published in hardcover in October and you can pre-order it here!  My thanks go to HQ Stories for my beautiful proof.

Hope you all have a lovely day!

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks ♥️

Published by Mrs Cooke

👩🏽‍💻📚I read and shout 📣 about books 👯‍♀️owner of 2 book-loving Littles 🌳village dweller ✍️stationery fiend 🍸gin enthusiast 📩DM for reviews etc 💌

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