Matt Garvey has already created some of my favourite indie releases in recent years but his recent Camp Bleh title saw him step into the world of all-ages books.
It tells the story of summer camp and four friends who are riding out being cut off from their usual entertainment of phones & texting and what else do you do when you’re crowded around a campfire…..but tell ghost stories. Taking turns as they go, the story takes a ton of different directions but as each kids throws their input into the mix we see their suggestions become a reality and things get more & more crazy as they go.
Things weave their way close to certain doom but the gathering of friends is the real focus for the story which act as the heart of a story that grows legs and then runs with it. It’s maybe a change of form for Matt but it shows just how versatile he really is at keeping things as entertaining as we’ve come to expect from him already albeit it with a softer edge. Teaming up with Rosie Hague is a master stroke too as the cartoony feel to the characters & monsters firmly camps things in that “all ages” arena.
The fear & honesty in the kids faces keeps the meandering stories interesting as they attempt to catch each other off guard with their stories and while deciding on a monster keeps them entertained there’s a lot to be said for the energy that Matt & Rosie manage to squeeze into every page. Frantic in places but told with real enthusiasm, the fun never really stops in this one and the style & pacing keeps this feeling like a full-on all ages book for everyone – mission accomplished for the creative team for sure.
Head over to Matt’s online store for this and is other titles and check out his website & Twitter pages to find out what else he’s working on. You can also catch-up with Rosie over on her Twitter & Instagram pages too.