H.P. Lovecraft's story "The Call of Cthulhu" is a classic of horror fiction, and his monstrous Cthulhu has appeared everywhere from comic books and video games -- not to mention innumerable cute plush figures.  But how would this horrific tale of death, madness, and monstrosity fare as a children's book?  Littlest Lovecraft: The Call of Cthulhu by Tro Rex and Eyona Bella gives us this tale as an illustrated work -- one that's definitely not for children.

 Littlest Lovecraft: The Call of Cthulhu is extremely faithful to the source material, providing the reader with all the characters and action of the original story, from the sculptor Henry A. Wilcox and his nightmare-inspired sculpture, to Inspector Legrasse's raid on a backwoods cult, to the frightful events that befell the ship the Alert.  What's new is the fact that the story is told in four-line stanzas with alternating rhymes ('Odd hieroglyphs clearly showed some sort of phrase,/but Wilcox had no clue just what they could mean./The Professor then asked him from where it had come,/and Wilcox just said, "I made it last night in a dream.")
Littlest Lovecraft: The Call of Cthulhu  is an interesting take on one of my favorite stories.  The rhymes work well in giving this scary story an almost sing-song element, and the artwork is good.  The fidelity to the original story is almost too great, though, as instead of creating additional humor or mixing things up for comedic purposes, this book sticks to the narrative of the original story.  The tag "littlest" implies that this is in a style for kids, but this book could have easily been a faithful adaption featured in a comic book.

 Littlest Lovecraft: The Call of Cthulhu may have benefitted if it had taken some more liberties with the story or gone further with its artwork, but it's still a solid, enjoyable re-telling of this classic tale.  I'll certainly be keeping my eyes open for more "Littlest Lovecraft" adaptions.

Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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