Fat & Bones: And Other Stories by Larissa Theule is the story of the rivalry between a winged fairy, Fat, and a farmer's odious son, Bones. It also is the tale of a dog with a cold, a mouse in love, a cat without a tail, and a spiteful tulip. It is, in sum, a very weird book.
And yet, it is no less delightful for that. It very much reminds me of something, but I struggle to think of what. The illustrations are heavily reminiscent of Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories and their remarkable illustrator, Stephen Gammell. They have that black-and-white, splotchy, oozy feel that is genuinely unsettling. Or maybe the story reminds me of the old rhyme, "Hey Diddle Diddle (The Cat & the Fiddle)", with its collection of weird, offbeat animals and creatures on a farm. Whatever it is, it is unique and a good blend of gross, funny, and just a dash of horror.
Fat & Bones is the first book from this author, if the bookflap is to be believed, and it does show. A few stories felt like they ended prematurely, seemingly caught on that perfect moment of showing too much, but ultimately erring in the opposite direction. Still, if one is to err, then that is probably the better direction, and it never spoiled the book. Theule manages to spin a great yarn in these stories.
If you're looking for an off-beat, interesting read, this is a good one.