SIR SIMON: SUPER SCARER by Cale Atkinson

Hello everyone! Today I’m looking forward to posting about Cale Atkinson’s latest book, SIR SIMON:Super Scarer! Now normally you’d think a book about a ghost should have been my October post, but trust me, this book is good enough to be read in any season. Today I’ll be talking about the “details” that make this book work for me. It’s just the right amount of “extra” that Cale puts into everything that really elevate this book and story to stand out.

Sir Simon: Super Scarer is a story about a ghost, with a job, which is scaring and basically, being a ghost.

After we get introduced to Simon, we quickly learn what it means to be a ghost along with his “resume” of work of the things he’s haunted before. It’s the details in the artwork here that work so well with the text in the pulling us all through the scene – generally while laughing. Cale uses this technique throughout this book and it’s never tiring. The text is always in the right place as you follow the characters around.

The photos definitely don’t do the artwork justice. With all the cutaways and characters all over the place in the scenes, it reminds me of the Richard Scarry books actually (funny coincidence in names not intended).

Cale doesn’t just go to town in detail with illustration though. The way he carries on his gags and jokes in the text, just adding that extra line to stretching it to the brink – while keeping it funny the entire way.

Speaking of the story details, Cale really creates something much larger than these few spreads will show. The initial incidents and background information on Simon in the beginning of the book all move towards the common target: that being a ghost isn’t an easy or enjoyable job for Simon, and that his work has become a chore that he wishes to escape. But just when it seems to be headed in one direction, Cale brings out something most unexpected that really is a great fit for the ending of the book.

I hope you can see from these few spreads, this book is an absolute blast to read and pour over. Cale’s dedication to deliver on each joke goes way over and above in this book’s pages. His attention to detail both in the artwork, in the jokes, and in the story itself, reveal the character of this book and make it a very enjoyable reading experience.

My takeaway from this book would be to try to measure the details in my work. Am I getting everything I can from a joke or an illustration – or the story as a whole? How do we get more out of these things without taking it too far? It’s obviously not an easy balance, but I’m happy to say Cale Atkinson does it extremely well with Sir Simon: Super Scarer.

 

Special Bonus: Now I could have posted pictures of the endpapers, case cover under the jacket, or a dozen other little things on different pages, but the back cover is what I’ll leave you with.

 

Thanks for stopping by this year and for all the comments. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season and I look forward to what 2019 brings!

Mike Boldt

Mike Boldt

Mike Boldt is an author and illustrator from Alberta, Canada. With more than 15 books in the wild, he's authored titles such as 123 VERSUS ABC and COLORS VERSUS SHAPES (HarperCollins), and his latest, A TIGER TAIL (Simon and Schuster). He's also the illustrator of Dev Petty's I DON'T WANT TO BE A FROG & I DON'T WANT TO BE BIG & THERE'S NOTHING TO DO (Doubleday). You can learn more about Mike at www.mikeboldt.ca

34 Comments:

  1. Hilarious, especially the back cover. Thanks for sharing this very cute book!

  2. Danielle Hammelef

    I need to read this book. Thanks for sharing it today. This is hilarious!

  3. Oh, I am SOLD!
    I need this super scarer in my life and in my book collection.

  4. Great, great example of the text being exponentially enhanced by art while maintaining a more subtle, tongue-in-cheek tone.

  5. Too fun! Clever books get me all the time! Thanks for sharing with us!

  6. Looking at these spreads made me laugh out loud. Putting this one on my must-have list. Thanks, Mike!

  7. This looks great! Love the focus on the details of the illustrations and how they support the overall story. Makes me super wish I could do more than doodle, but alas I am just a lowly author! : ) Details are in my words! Thanks again for posting!

  8. How does one add a photo of themselves to these comments posts? HELP! : )

    • Hey Brian. Not sure how to do that outside of the settings somewhere – depending on which service you’ve created an account with and used to comment with. I don’t think “anonymous” comments can attach a photo though. Hope that helps!

  9. OMG so scarin’ cute. Can’t wait to add this book to my collection, winner or not!

  10. Love the last pix. Can’t wait to see how it ends!

  11. Love it! Hilarious! Must have!

  12. Chuckle! Chuckle! Sir Simon: You don’t scare me! I look forward to reading this tale.

  13. Clever and cute! A winning combination. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

  14. Parts of this had me laughing out loud! . . . I love the butt cheeks!

  15. Cale really does know how to do it right. I always look forward to his books.

  16. I need to study this book as a mentor text AND laugh, too. Masterful. TY and all the best in 2019.

  17. Simon is so lovable. Can’t wait to read it!

  18. This book looks hilarious! And the illustrations are incredible! Just added it to my Christmas wish list. 🙂

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