Cover Image: Prunella and the Cursed Skull Ring

Prunella and the Cursed Skull Ring

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Prunella is a delightful read. Prunella is a kind girl among not so kind people. She finds friends in "monsters". Those monsters are the ones who become her loyal friends and help her on her journey to lift a curse.
The illustrations are captivating and story is interesting. Definitely recommended for your collection.

Was this review helpful?

One of the better junior comics I've seen in many a month, if not for years. Here is the broad stroke – both to the art and to the comedy – but it all works and all looks and reads wonderfully on the page. Prunella is growing up in a village where some doom-sayers are threatening of dread beasts from without – but when she puts on a magical jewelled ring in the shape of a skull, she turns into a skeleton version of herself, and faces exile in the land of the monsters.

It's a brisk, humorous read, not afraid to use wordless establishing shots, and the hand-colouring is exemplary at times, making sure this has a visual class many deem unnecessary when targeting readers in single digits. And in going down the roads towards wackiness – while never quite arriving at Full-On Bonkers, thankfully – this has a kind of European feel. Prunella's party of friends as she seeks a way out of being a skeleton certainly becomes a most unusual one, but even if you doubt some of them when they first appear (the talking, bouncing rock, and the giant one) they all come across as good entertaining company, both for us and for her.

All told, this makes for a wonderfully inventive, colourful and lively young fantasy read. And while so many such books just want to replicate the Saturday morning cartoon, this went the other way and achieved all it wanted with distinction. So with both its success and its rarity in mind, I feel five stars is the only response.

Was this review helpful?

Prunella finds a magic ring that turns her into a skeleton. Due to their own fear and hatred of monsters, the townspeople drive Prunella out of town and into the forest, where she meets and befriends several REAL monsters who aid her on her journey to becoming a little girl again. This graphic novel was spooky in the cutest way, and has such a sweet message about overcoming fear and hatred with friendship and a kind heart.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this so much! The artwork was fantastic. The story was so good. It has a great message. You cannot choose your family, but you can choose your friends. I loved all the different monsters throughout the story. They were all unique and different in their own way. Prunella has such a kind heart and I just loved her. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This is a very cute graphic novel about a little girl with a kind heart, who lives in a village that is terrified of the monsters outside. Prunella finds a ring in her garden and puts it on her finger, only to find herself turned into a skeleton. She is run out of town, but with courage and kindness, befriends the "monsters" she encounters, who are truly more friendly than the humans inside the town's walls.
This is a sweet fable about how we choose our friends, and even our family. Prunella is a plucky, friendly, brave girl that readers will cheer for. I loved the twist at the end, even when I could see it coming.
Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy.

Was this review helpful?

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley.)

Young Prunella lives with her mom in a small village. Though they're on an island teeming with natural beauty, sentient creatures, and magic, you wouldn't know it - Prunella's community is walled off from the forest, the mountains, and the beaches. And there's a rumble to build the wall even higher, as fears of monster attacks spread throughout the town.

In the midst of this panic, Prunella find a mysterious ring while tending to her backyard garden. When she puts in on, she's transformed into a skeleton. Horrified, her fellow citizens mistake her for a "real" monster and promptly banish her from the village.

And so Prunella goes on a quest to break the curse of the skull ring. Along the way, she gets to know the "monsters" with whom she shares the island - skeletons, dragons, giants, stone megaliths, wisps, even the great cat sphinx who guards the island and its inhabitants - and discovers that they possess more humanity than the humans in her village.

PRUNELLA AND THE CURSED SKULL RING is an absolutely adorable and compassionate story, perfect for readers of all ages. The narrative has some pretty obvious real world parallels (all the "build this wall" talk gave me flashbacks to 2016!), making it an excellent way to introduce young readers to concepts like othering, prejudice, and the like. The artwork is charming AF, from the giant proudly introducing Prunella and Captain Rip Skeleton to their miniature home, to Prunella's entry into Cedarton. I wondered - not with a little apprehension - how Loux would wrap up the story, and the ending does not disappoint (a little bit snarky, with nary a whiff of eye-rollingly unrealistic optimism).

Was this review helpful?

While gardening, Prunella finds a ring that once put on transforms her into a skeleton.
Can she break this curse?

Loved this. The village of humans is the problem in here, the monsters on the island are kind and want to help Prunella on her quest. We meet many different species of mythical creatures.

Colourful illustrations, great pacing, full recommendations

The arc was provided by the publisher.

Was this review helpful?

A fun romp through a beautifully imagined world of creatures where the actual monsters are the humans and who prioritize image and reputation above all else.

The dynamic art brings so much life and emotion to the creatures in this world. Dynamic character designs also bring levity to what could otherwise be a scary situation with a sheltered character venturing into the wide world for the first time.

Some of the dialogue felt overly wordy and the end felt disappointing in our protagonist's utter disinterest in sharing her discoveries with her people. The flaws did not distract too much from the story, however.

Was this review helpful?

This was a fun, adventurous story with great illustrations and interesting characters.
I loved the giant with his bonsai trees!
Is ideal for 8-12 year olds although I think any age would enjoy it

Was this review helpful?

This graphic novel tells the story of a little girl named Prunella who discovers a skull ring that turns her into a monster. She seems to live in some kind of medieval time type world where people are very concerned about keeping monsters outside their peasant village area. When Prunella changes to a skull she is banished to a land called Cedarton that seems to have tons of monsters living there. The book is about 160 pages long and while most pages have some thought or speech bubbles there are also some pages that have no text. I think this book would be pretty interesting and easy to follow for middle grade students who are developing the skills to read longer books but benefit from pictures to support their comprehension of texts. Graphic novels are definitely very popular right now and I think this book would fit right in with the other similar texts that are drawing in tons of young readers. As a grade 3 teacher, I would definitely consider purchasing a copy of this book for my classroom library and would recommend this book to parents and teachers of children in the age 7-12 range. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!

Was this review helpful?

This was such a sweet book! I really like books that really aim at showing the issues with othering a group. The basic premise is that Prunella lives on a island where there are monsters. The Humans have built a wall to keep them out. While gardening, Prunella finds a cursed ring that turns her into a skeleton. She is ousted and sent to live the monsters. It turns out that the monsters are very nice and are helping Prunella reverse the curse.
As soon as I finished the book, I knew at least three kids that would love this book! This is a great book about prejudices and finding a community that accepts you. It is great for kids who are interested in more creepy books but don't want to be scared. Fans of D and D books or really any fan of monsters would like it. It also has a similar vibe to Spirited Away by Miyazaki. The art work is cute with the perfect balance of text. I cannot wait to have this in my library!

Was this review helpful?