The Red Dread

Beware The Red Dread! Anxiety and terror reign in the forest as word spreads about a loud-thumping something that has apparently eaten Rabbit, allegedly devoured Chicken, and seems to be relentlessly pursuing poor Mouse with a thump, thump, THUMP! But is the threat a clear and present danger, or is it just FAKE NEWS?

A well-told tale of how rumour spreads and panic grows, and how fear of the unknown can sometimes overtake a community’s common sense ¬– this book is a fitting parable for the jittery times we live in. Written and illustrated by Edinburgh-based Tom Morgan-Jones, the dialogue-led text feeds the general air of hysteria that permeates the story, and the constant THUMP, THUMP, THUMP of the (supposed) Red Dread ramps up the tension to an almost unbearable crescendo, before the story reaches its witty ending.

Morgan-Jones’s inky, splotchy style of pen and brush drawing is reminiscent of two of the political-cartooning greats, Ronald Searle and Gerald Scarfe, and is perfect for portraying the emotions of the alarmed and agitated forest animals.