Cover image for The mystery of Eatum Hall
The mystery of Eatum Hall
Kelly, John, 1964-
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
1 volume ; 31 cm
Mr. and Mrs. Pork-Fowler are invited to spend a weekend of gourmet dining at a spooky castle where their host, Mr. Hunter, is anxious to "meat" them.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.6 0.5 82132.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



A gluttonous pig and goose inadvertently foil their sinister host in an original little comedy full of visual jokes, rendered in an eye-catching film noir style. Glenda and Horace Pork-Fowler are a goose and a hog of large proportions, with appetites to match. So naturally, when they receive an invitation for a weekend of free gourmet food at Eatum Hall, Dr. Hunter's new inn, they don't hesitate to pack their bags. It's a bit curious that there's no one to greet them at the gloomy inn, and their absent owner does have an odd fondness for artwork depicting wolves. Still, the unfailingly cheerful couple are more than content to eat their way from feast to feast, disappointed only to learn that they'll miss the pie-eating festival on the day they leave. Or will they? With graphic artwork that pops off the page, this tongue-in-cheek tale will delight readers of all ages, from fans of Wallace and Gromit and Berkeley Breathed to children who will love discovering the illustrator's many sight gags -- and being in on the joke.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In their first collaboration, husband-and-wife team Kelly (Robot Zoo) and Tincknell serve up a gourmet meal of porcine intrigue. Horace and Glenda Pork-Fowler, a genteel porker and his lovely goose wife, receive an invitation to a weekend of gourmet dining at the manor of a Dr. Hunter. Upon arriving, the couple discovers a note explaining that Dr. Hunter has been called away. He instructs them to eat freely, and on Sunday he intends to "meat [them] personally" (a misspelling that may have something to do with the gigantic pie-maker disguised as a jolly bandstand on the back lawn). Despite a gallery full of gory hunting scenes ("I prefer my works of art displayed on a plate," Horace harumphs) and a certain painting in the dining room ("I thought the portrait over the mantelpiece was rather good-especially the way the eyes seemed to follow our every move"), the couple remains gloriously oblivious to the host's identity and intentions-even though readers will recognize the silhouetted portrait as a predator. Kelly brews just the right mix of horror and delight with a series of cartoonish spreads of the Pork-Fowlers viewed through Dr. Hunter's high-tech surveillance instruments. Through pure gluttony, the Pork-Fowlers foul up Dr. Hunter's plans and live to stuff themselves another day. Every page contains more rib-tickling touches, and kids will plead to visit this eating establishment again. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Gr 1-5-A comically dense couple named Horace and Glenda Pork-Fowler (a pig and a goose, of course) receives an invitation from Dr. Hunter, the new owner of Eatum Hall, "...for a weekend of free gourmet food!" Exclamation points abound in this pun-filled excursion to an English manor that's crammed with all sorts of ominous items, including knives, axes, oil paintings of animals being devoured by wolves, and a Walter Crane portrait of Red Riding Hood. High tech mixes with an old-fashioned mystery as the food-loving couple is instructed by the absent host to partake in "...a fully automated dining experience." Robotic devices serve the Pork-Fowlers delicious meals, but observant readers will catch glimpses of other machines designed for more predatory uses. In the end, the Pork-Fowlers are saved by their own oblivious gluttony, a fitting conclusion to this delightful story. The digitally created pictures have an impressionistic quality that lends a look of unpolished spontaneity. There's beautiful use of color and exaggeration of all sorts to add atmosphere. A wealth of visual and verbal details will engage children on many levels. Clever and fun.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.