Ghost stories are a little tough to really scare me because I'm 99% sure I don't think they exist. When I was younger, Scary Stories to tell in the Dark was a sleepover staple, we'd read (ok, me) aloud trying to scare the bejebus out of each other.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was one I read somewhere in early teens and remember loving the setting, slight creep factor, and relationships.
Pet Sematary I probably read in mid-teens and while I didn't feel too scared being an animal lover drew out the emotions in me.
The Lovely Bones seems to be a book that likes to divide people. It seems weird to say I enjoyed the story because of how freaking awful some things in it are but gawd, talk about a story that will emotionally wring you out.
I think it was last year for Halloween Bingo I read The Haunting of Maddy Clare and I still remember that barn scene, hair on neck standing up.
And because I'm a punk, I added a romance that has a main character that likes to investigate the supernatural and a ghost, seemingly, comes to the rescue.
Shout-out to people doing today's prompt, adding some to my potential Bingo reading list :)
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle
In all honesty, I didn't like this book when I first started it. I'm kind of picky about comics with black-and-white artwork. They have to be interesting enough to not make me feel like I'm just looking at a coloring book, but also clear enough that I can tell what's going on. It took me a little bit to get into the artwork, but it really is spooktactular.
I'm not sure if I wasn't really interested in the first story ("My Bloody Valentine") or if I was just warming up to the characters, but by the end of the book, I was loving it. I especially liked "Ghouls Out for Summer". I think it helped having some background on Scary Godmother to understand what was going on and the various relationships. I might go back and reread the first story to see what I think of it now that I know the characters.
By the end, I loved the characters. This book has a wonderful cast of lovable, spooky friends who help each other out and are there for each other through thick and thin.
There are a lot of fun activities from treat recipes to crafting ideas throughout the book as well. A nice way to make the comics more interactive. There is also an Activity Book at the end that includes tutorials, a crossword, coloring pages, and more fun things.
I actually hadn't realized this was targeted to children (because I apparently can't read the genre listed on the back). There are a lot of more adult themes (son moving out of mother's house, working through a rough patch in a marriage, things that seem more on par with adult readers than children). I also feel like the majority of current children's comics are in color so this one being in black-and-white might dissuade some young readers. I definitely think adults will like this book. Not so sure how popular it would be to young readers today, but perfect for those who like stories that are a bit creepy but still heartfelt and fun.
Life as a young fox is scary, with so much to learn about the dangers out there in the woods. Little foxes learn about these dangers from their mama, a masterful storyteller, or the hard way, by facing the world.
This beautifully-written and illustrated middle-grade book invites the reader to step inside the minds of little foxes, and embark on an adventure, full of the real-life challenges that they often face:
Nasty humans, vicious woodland creatures like the Golgathursh and badgers, and dangerous territorial foxes. And especially the harsh Winter.
This is a tale within a tale, and just like scary stories told around a campfire, it has elements of horror and delight. Not only is it precautionary for fox kits, like foxes Mia and Uly, readers will recognize the themes of friendship, family, bravery, and the drive to push ahead when life is difficult.
Author Christian McKay Heidicker has a way with words too, and through his writing he has conveyed a very vivid picture of woodland life, describing objects as a fox would see them, and creating new words for things that wouldn’t make sense to them. He also doesn’t shy away from the brutality of nature, from the cycle of life and death, and the struggle for survival against the most difficult of odds. The young foxes in his story face hunters, painful separation from family members, and gruesome injuries and death. Heidicker draws inspiration from classic authors Bram Stoker, Edgar Allen Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft, and weaves in a very well-known children’s book author into this very book; young readers who love a scary story will enjoy this, but it’s not for those who are easily upset by animals getting hurt or struggle with the harshness of nature.
The most wonderful part in my reading this (aside from enjoying the adventure and the amazing artwork by Junyi Wu) was how it reminded me of discovering books about animals in my childhood, such as ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ ‘The Wind in The Willows,’ and ‘Watership Down.’ I enjoyed these with my dad, and they fueled my love and compassion for animals. I expect many readers who will enjoy this book will be or are animal-lovers too, as Heidicker has embodied the curious and mischievous nature of foxes so well in this book, and it’s really hard not to love them because of it. This deserves to be a children’s animal classic!
**Thank so much to the editor, Christian Trimmer of Henry Holt Books, for my early copy and the chance to read and review this book.
Release date: 8.20.19
Note: Review of the reillustrated 2017 version
|For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle
I found a copy of this book at the library the other day. The title sounded familiar, but I didn't recognize the illustrations, so I figured it was a book I'd heard of but never read. I just got around to reading it and realized it's a reillustrated edition of a book I read as a kid.
The stories are okay. They are all very, very short. I think when I read them as a kid, they were creepier for two reasons. One: I was a very easily-scared child and am a slightly braver adult. Two: the illustrations in the original were much scarier. These new ones are cute Tim Burton-y versions of the originals. Much less creepy and more cutesy. They aren't bad, but definitely make the book a lot less scary.
Having said that, "The Green Ribbon" and "The Night It Rained" will always stick with me. They aren't scary, just good in that sad, creepy way.