With just about a week left until Halloween, most of the Halloween books in our Holiday collections have been snapped up and won't reappear until at least the Day of the Dead (Nov. 1). But here's a monstrous secret: many spooky stories are not found in the Holiday collection. Here are some books that will put a shiver up your spine or a coax a cackle from you, all found in our Picture Book, Easy Reader, Fiction, or Non-fiction collections.
Picture Books Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex consist of humorous verse about the trials of being a monster, with illustrations reminiscent of classic monster flix by the author. Michael Rex (no relation, as far as I can tell) gives us Goodnight Goon and The Runaway Mummy, good-natured monster's-eye parodies of Margaret Wise Brown's beloved bedtime stories.
Another parody favorite is Judy Sierra's gruesome reworkings of familiar nursery rhymes, Monster Goose, found on our shelves at 811.54 SIERR.
For little ones who need to be reassured that monsters can be conquered, try Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley. The scary Big Green Monster is disassembled piece by piece as you turn the die-cut pages in an empowering lapsit experience. Pair that with Sesame Street "monster"Lovable Furry Old Grover in The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone.
Other gentle ghost stories for the younger set are Ghosts in the House and Hush, Baby Ghostling. Get kids involved in the story with the very slightly scary (but mostly fun) Can YOU Make a Scary Face?
Beginning readers will enjoy Alice Low's The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches or In a Dark, Dark Room, and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz in our Easy Reader collection.
Alvin Schwartz also authored the ever-popular Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Series, which you'll find at 398.25 SCHWA. While you're in the 398s, pick up Cinderella Skeleton (398.2 SAN ) by Robert D. San Souci, a rhymed retelling of Cinderella with artwork by David Catrow that may remind you of the movie Corpse Bride.
Lurking in the juvenile fiction collection (and currently on the NEW shelf) is The Book of Ghosts. Selected and illustrated by father-son artists Michael and Devon Hague, The Book of Ghosts is a collection of classic ghost stories from masters such as Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft and other well-known writers. It includes that standard for creepy suspense, "The Monkey's Paw," by W. W. Jacobs.
Contemporary author Neil Gaiman follows neatly in the footsteps of classic horror/suspense writers. He was recognized with a Newbery Medal earlier this year for his creepy fantasy The Graveyard Book. If you missed some of his earlier children's fare, check out Coraline (also available as a graphic novel) and The Wolves in the Walls to give yourself a Halloween treat.