“The Curious Chronicles of Jack Bokimble and His Peculiar Penumbra” is the first children’s book from James Demonaco. As per the book description, the story follows the Bokimble family, who after the birth of their son Jack, notice strange things beginning to happen at the their house – glasses fall from shelves and nothing seems to be where Mr. and Mrs. Bokimble left it. Jack’s parents begin to sense that there’s something strange about their son, and it’s not long before they realize that he has a secret friend: his magical shadow.
From the beginning it’s apparent we are being told a story, and a fun story at that. In fact, there are several times throughout the story where the storyteller is interrupted by the unseen audience to ask questions or make comments about the story. This is done in bold font usually in the middle of the chapter. It’s a fun ploy that helps in engaging the audience but I did feel at times it distracted from the story. Even with that said I do feel it ties into the end of the story when the audience is left to decide who is actually the one narrating. So that was a small surprise.
The characters are interesting to say the least. We don’t spend too much time with any of them as the story is mostly about Jack and his shadow. It’s an interesting story written by a writer who usually pens horror but I do wish we could have more time with the characters. They seem beyond quirky at times – even for a novel geared towards a younger audience. I do, however, enjoy the concept about a young boy who has a magical shadow that can do feats he isn’t able to do. I won’t lie – I wish I had a shadow like that!
This would be a fun story to read to a niece or nephew or perhaps your own son or daughter. It is imaginative and silly which I think would be fun and could create interesting dialogue between the kids and the adults. It’s not a story many adults would necessarily enjoy just reading before bed as it’s simple and clearly left to be filled by creative little minds!
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