Halloween is drawing near and a great pick for the season is The Legend of the Jersey Devil, a picture book by Trinka Hakes Noble (2013). Review by Sheila Wright.
Travel, if you dare, into the dark, misty swamps of the Pine Barrens, with award-winning author Trinka Hakes Noble, as she retells the legend of the Jersey Devil. With language reminiscent of the early 18th century, the story recounts a stormy night when one Mrs. Leeds, a suspected witch, gives birth to her 13th child—the Jersey Devil. The author weaves a wondrous tale of woe about colonial inhabitants of the “Pines” who are tormented by this awful creature with the head of a horse, wings of a bat, hooves of a goat, and fiery blazing eyes.
Reviewer Sheila Wright,
The author’s language is rich in description, and the artwork by Gerald Kelley completes the spooky atmosphere that keeps us on the edge of our seats. Readers can almost feel the night coolness from the fog-laden swamps and breathe the dank air of the bogs as the Jersey Devil roams the countryside preying on his victims. Though a frightening tale, the illustrations also draw upon humorous aspects of the story, which to some degree, lighten and add to the fun of reading it.
The author, a longtime New Jersey resident, writes about the Pine Barrens with the confidence of someone who knows this intriguing coastal region and its historic mysteries well. The illustrations are an excellent match to a fresh look at an old legend.
Rated on Amazon.com as being best for grades 2-5. In my own view, I would lean towards the upper end of this grade range.