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Steve Roach



  Children's Books



An illustrated children's book in collaboration with the late artist Simon Schild.

Three hundred years ago from now, when land was tilled with horse and plough
An innocent man was hunted down, and thrown into a lake to drown
Over time, the lake stagnated, and memory of the man abated
But one dark night there came a storm, and Crackly Bones, the fiend, was born!

Crackly Bones is a morally complex tale aimed at adults and older children. It is an updated, modern take on the grisly fairy tales of old, told entirely in rhyme. It is a very dark story, focusing on a monster that boils down naughty children in his big black pot, in order to use the fleshy brew to feed his garden. However, things are not so black and white, and readers will find that by the end of the story they have a certain amount of sympathy for Crackly Bones, as it emerges that there is a history of lies and murder, and blood on the hands of the villagers’ descendants.


Sally’s world is turned upside down one day when her father announces he’s found a new job – in Liverpool! She is forced to leave behind her old school, her old stomping grounds and even her best friend Marcie.  In her new school, she finds that the teachers are all very scary, the rest of the children hate her and all she wants to do is go home.

She makes plans to force her parents to move back home, aided by her new friend the Terrorer, an enormous horned dog with red eyes and two rows of gleaming, sharp teeth. The beast is vicious and willing to do whatever she wants, but the power comes with a terrible price – Sally feels herself starting to change, to enjoy the newfound possibilities such power can bring. But she also begins to fear the Terrorer.

Can Sally really control the beast, or is it actually controlling her?