In this striking picturebook we travel back in time to a grimy cityscape with oil lamps, night caps and organ grinders. Since hearing an organ tune, young Rubi has had a strange rhyme in her head about a Grotlyn visiting houses at night. Is that what she can hear scuttling across her floor as she lies in bed, or is it just a mouse? Soon others in the town report hearing strange noises too, and objects mysteriously disappearing. Rumours about a Grotlyn in the town are spreading. Readers feeling nervous can be reassured with the words: ‘But don’t be afraid to sleep – to dream! For things are not quite what they seem.’ And indeed the mystery is eventually solved with a surprise ending; the night time thief turns out to be the organ grinder’s monkey collecting what he needs to make a daring escape from his master.
This is a mysterious rhyming picturebook, with just the right balance of spookiness and reassurance, from the talented creator of The Storm Whale and Grandad’s Island. The illustrations are atmospheric, rich and detailed with lots to spot, including wonderful double page spreads before the title page and after the story ends. A perfect story to share on a dark night.