Book Review: Wicked Plants

Creatively designed little books entice me the way picture books did when I was a child - there's something so deliciously satisfying about a book with enchanting pictures.  Wicked Plants  is a morbidly informative little book that I love but find a little unsettling detailing all sorts of poisonous plants from those used by the KGB (Castor bean) to those found at home (White Oleander).  

The deranged behavior that led to the Salem witch trials may have been caused by ERGOT (Claviceps purpura), a fungus that grows on rye and causes wild hallucinations.

I just heard tonight about Neil Gaiman's idea for bringing reading to Halloween night: "You know, there aren't enough traditions that involve giving books."  #allhallowsread encourages book giving and reading as a ritual on more occasions.  In honour of this new  tradition and because I love halloween-y things I'm reposting this review of one of my favourite books: Wicked Plants.  Its an eerie compliation of botanical facts driven by interesting characters and intertwined with gorgeous etchings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs using a technique that dates back to the 1600s!  (more info). Working from life, photographs, and antique botanical illustrations, she sketched each of the forty plants in the book before etching them into the copper plates.  Its a perfect creepy little halloween gift!

If you're still not convinced you can preview the book here
Available in the St. Catharines, Guelph, Hamilton and Toronto Public libraries under the call # 581.65 Ste

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