Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Not So Scary Stories

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.
~ André Gide (1869-1951), French author

Night of the Gargoyles
By day, the gargoyles perch above the museum, glaring stonily at the sunlit world. But by night, they come alive, flying and stumping around in the dark to peek through the museum windows, hunch together around a fountain, and make fun of the night watchman. Shadowy, black-and-white artwork gives the book a “deliciously eerie” (School Library Journal) feel, and though the creepiness is softened by playful humor, it may still be too scary for very young children. Those old enough to appreciate a good chill down the spine, however, won’t be able to look away. Ages 5-8

The Black Dog
Outside the Hope family’s ramshackle house in the woods sits a big black dog. How big? REALLY big, and getting bigger with every family member who looks outside. Frightened, everyone in the family hides — except for little Small. Bravely stepping up to the dog’s colossal nose, Small taunts the dog into chasing her, forcing it to shrink smaller and smaller, until it’s just the right size to fit through the doggy door. Rich, vibrant illustrations enhance this charming fable that encourages readers (big and small) to face their fears. Older kids ready for an edgier take on a similar story might enjoy The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman. Ages 5-8

Creepy Carrots
Jasper Rabbit loves chowing down on stolen carrots from Crackenhopper Field…until the carrots start following him. Or do they? Jasper thinks he sees the carrots lurking in the shadows of his bedroom, or looming up behind him in the bathroom mirror, or creeping after him (with a quiet “tunktunktunk”) wherever he goes — but they’re always gone when he takes a closer look. What’s a paranoid rabbit to do? Find out in this clever, atmospheric, mock-horror story packed with kid-friendly thrills and a surprising, satisfying ending. Ages 3-8