We had such a fantastic time with author Adam Gidwitz last year, helping to release his debut book, the clever and spooky A Tale Dark and Grimm, and we were thrilled when he came back to visit us on Halloween!
Adam visited three schools on Monday, scaring kids right and left! I was lucky enough to accompany him on a visit to a local elementary school, where he told kids the real story of Cinderella, which is considerably more gruesome than the Disney version. The wonderful thing about Adam’s book is that he tells you when things are going to get a bit scary/bloody/distasteful, and gives you an opportunity to skip that part. Similarly, he told the kids to put their fingers in their ears and put their heads down if things seemed to be getting too scary. The kids seemed to love it (I would have been one of the kids putting her head down), and were thrilled to find out that their PTA had bought copies of the book for all 4th and 5th graders. Several classes lined up to get their books signed, and the ones that were waiting all had their heads stuck in the book, reading away!
Many of the same children who had seen Adam earlier in the day persuaded their parents to bring them to Hooray For Books! to hear more creepy stories on Halloween afternoon. It didn’t hurt that they got candy, as well!
Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm is the perfect read for Halloween or any time! A bit gruesome, lots of humor, and a fantastically spooky plot. As a special treat, we have a few signed copies on hand!
A Tale Dark and Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz, $6.99 (paperback) and $16.99 (hardcover), Dutton Children’s Books
I’m the Scariest Thing in the Castle by Kevin Sherry; Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Group; 2011; baby – 3; $6.99
By the author of I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean, this latest entry is perfect for the the littlest ones at Halloween. Little Bat is scarier than the ghosts, skeletons and witches of the castle, but when the lights go out who’s going to be the scared one?
Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas; Harper; 2011; 3-6
Jan Thomas’ hapless trio of Duck, Pig and Mouse are back in this Halloween tale. Duck has found the perfect perfect pumpkin for Jack O’Lantern carving. As he starts emptying out the seeds, he slips and gets his head stuck in the pumpkin. No problem, he’ll just walk over to his friends to get some help, but Pig and Mouse are too busy running from the scary, web-footed pumpkin monster to offer any assistance. Great for those who have enjoyed Rhyming Dust Bunnies, Birthday for Cow, or any other silly book.
The Haunted Hamburger by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Paul Meisel; Dutton Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, Inc.; 2011; 3-6
A funny compilation of three stories, each with its own hilariously haunted twist at the end. You’ll be yucking it up with your little ghosts all the way to October 31st.
Two little ghost children are unwilling to go to bed until they hear a story — a scary story. Father Ghost tells them the story of Uncle Ned, who had a bad encounter with a baby. Not scary enough. So, Father Ghost tells the story of their boastful cousin Nell and her competition with a haunted hamburger to see who was the best. Still not scary enough. So, Father Ghost tells them the scariest story of all. The story of the Big, Bad Granny with her red lips that are just perfect for kissing you all over your face. Eeeek!
Over in the Hollow, by Rebecca Dickinson; illustrated by S. Britt (ages 3-6)
Based on the old Appalachian poem “Over in the Meadow,” Dickinson transforms the rhyme with a Halloween flavor. Vampires replace muskrats as they bite, witches replace crows as they zoom, and werewolves replace lizards as they howl. Because it’s a Halloween book the fun doesn’t stop at ten, but goes up to thirteen with skeletons, cats and ghosts getting into the act. Readers can easily say or act out the actions of each of the characters (well, maybe not the biting vampires). Filled with rich, lush illustrations that have the feel of picture books from decades ago, this is the perfect book to haunt your shelf this Halloween.
Over in the Hollow, by Rebecca Dickinson; illustrated by S. Britt; 2009;$15.99; Chronicle Books