In Medias Res | I Used to Love Picture Books…

I used to love picture books. I love anything by Dr. Seuss, I read the Arthur books as a kid, and I adore the illustrations in the Leviathan series.

But then I started Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and the photos turned me off to picture books, almost immediately.Miss PeregrineI’m usually okay with reading suspense and horror novels. And that’s because I have this trick of turning my imagination off. I still read the book, and I still get that chill of something eerie (because I’m a complete scaredy-cat) is happening, and that’s usually enough to throw me into a state of perfectly-creeped-out and want to put the book in the freezer.

This is because no two people have the exact same fear. And since what makes people most scared can only be brought about by their imagination, shutting down my imagination, forcing it not to picture what is described, keeps me from completely freaking out.

Until this book.

Miss Peregrine’s is full of pictures to accompany the story. All of them are in black and white, and usually depict the creepier aspects of the story. This can be as simple as a reflection that should not be there:

pond reflectionTo a pair of kids who dressed in “Hell yeah, clowns are creepy” costumes:


According to the afterword, all of these pictures are unaltered from the original print. And that may very well be true…which just creeps me out even more.

Because now I can’t deny the fictionality of it. Now I cannot avoid picturing it, because it is there.

And if you’re anything like me, you’ve tried scrolling up so you can’t see the somehow disturbing clown kids, but you keep finding yourself looking at it because you can’t take your eyes off its utter mystery and unsettling appearance.

I am, however, determined to finish this book, since the story itself is quite interesting.

But the pictures? Those will haunt me for a while.


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