Books Early Readers Genre Horror and Deliverance in Books Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes

Failed Experiments, Imperfect Pets, and A Quest for Deliverance

"Nothing is impossible" said Barnabus.

Myra here.

Our October – December reading theme:

Horror and Deliverance In Books

We are on the look-out for books that fit the following deliberately-nebulous criteria:

  1. horror and scary stories
  2. everyday horrors that human beings face and conquer
  3. monsters and monstrosity
  4. stories that provide deliverance and redemption
  5. tales that show both darkness and light

The Barnabus Project [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written and Illustrated by The Fan Brothers Published by Tundra Books (2020) ISBN: 9780735263260 (ISBN10: 0735263264) Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

While this is technically not a story about monsters, there are times when creatures perceived to be less-than-perfect are treated as such, locked up, and kept hidden from view. Such is the case with Barnabus and his misbegotten friends – all part of what has been classified as “failed experiments.”

Yet these oddities are sentient and dreamed of one day breaking out of their glass cages to see the world outside, described by Pip the cockroach as filled with trees, mountains, sky and stars. Since I am currently watching Westworld with my husband, I can see parallels across the two narratives.

Barnabus was not discouraged by naysayers who told him that he should resign himself to a life of being recycled by the men wearing green suits so that he can be made perfect. He stated with a degree of certainty that “Nothing is impossible” and it was so. His indomitable spirit made him liberate not just himself but also his other fellow rejects, leading them to a path of deliverance.

He might not be perfect, but he was free.

The line above resonated with me deeply. How many of us can say this, truly? Where Barnabus and his friends will go, I shall leave for you to discover.

I will read anything that The Fan Brothers create – this is another one of their awe-inspiring picturebooks that you should add to you collection.


#SurvivalStories2021 Update: 105 out of target 100

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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