An old witch wishes to marry the dashing Brungle. In order to summon him, she and her coven of witches stir up The Great Brungle Stew. A parliament of owls, a cloud of bats, and a quiver of cobras are just a few ingredients they toss in to create this terrible broth. But does Brungle appear?
- Title: A Tangle of Brungles
- Author: Shobha Viswanath
- Illustrator: Culpeo S. Fox
- Cover Artist: Culpeo S. Fox
- Publisher: Karadi Tales Picturebooks
- ISBN: 9788181903600
- Publication Date: August 28, 2018
- For Ages: 6-8
- Category: Picture Book
- Spooky-Scary or Spooky-Fun? 🎃 Fun.
I’d like to thank Karadi Tales Picturebooks for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
With clever wordplay and bold illustrations brimming with personality, A Tangle of Brungles is a hilarious, educational picture book that deserves a place on your shelf. Writer Shobha Viswanath works magic with the story, which follows a coven of witches brewing up a love potion to summon Brungle, the object of the oldest witch’s affection. Viswanath works in an impressive array of collective nouns into her verse — a mischief of mice, a kaleidoscope of butterflies, and a wake of buzzards, just to name a few — that will be sure to enrich the vocabularies of the children and the adults reading along. Her deadpan delivery gets funnier as the wild story progresses, and the final page serves as the perfect punchline.
Consider this my formal announcement that I am running for president of Culpeo S. Fox’s fan club, because her illustrations are brilliant and hilarious and give me something new to marvel over each time I read the book. The visual puns are outstanding (a quiver of cobras arrives in an actual quiver), which makes the book’s wordplay even more fun and adds another educational element for more advanced readers. Her sense of balance with regard to color and detail is incredible as well. There is so much going on visually in this book, which I’ll touch on in just a moment, but your eye is never overwhelmed. It’s never difficult to keep up with the clever rhymes and the equally clever art, which is a testament to the skill of both creators. This is how educational picture books should be done.
There is so much life and personality in this artwork that even in a book devoted to describing large groups of animals, no two animals share the same facial expression. Culpeo S. Fox never misses an opportunity to inject humor and energy into a scene, and it is an absolute delight to go back through the book to search for new details I didn’t see before. (I got a very strong Woolie Reitherman vibe from her art, because he was the master of this kind of animation at Walt Disney Studios. I’m a huge Disney fan, and Woolie Reitherman is my favorite Disney director, so I hope you’ll see that for the compliment that it is.)
A Tangle of Brungles is a lively, clever story that will entrance and educate readers of all ages. The witty verse teaches readers new vocabulary and keeps them laughing at the same time, and the phenomenal illustrations add new dimensions to the already brilliant text. The two artists work together perfectly, creating a picture book that is hilarious, fun, and an absolute joy to read.
Don’t forget to vote for me for President of the Culpeo S. Fox Fan Club! I give this book 5 out of 5 coffins.