Spooky Stories for a Dark and Stormy Night

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9780786800124: Spooky Stories for a Dark and Stormy Night

From classic thrillers by Washington Irving and Charles Dickens to chilling legends from around the world retold by renowned authors such as Laurence Yep, to tales of fear from contemporary storytellers Bruce Coville and Stephanie Calmenson, this collection of spine-tingling stories and excerpts is sure to grab--and hold--young readers.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-5-This group of 19 tales is really more black humor than horror. Familiar stories such as "Wiley and the Hairy Man," and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" are included along with the delightfully strange "My Neighbor Is a Monster, Pass It On," the only story original to this collection. Most of the books the selections were taken from are readily available, such as Isaac Bashevis Singer's Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories (1966), Laurence Yep's The Rainbow People (1989) and Alison Lurie's Clever Gretchen and Other Forgotten Folktales (1980, all HarperCollins). This collection is similar in format, but less creepy or effective than Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Lippincott, 1981). Diane Goode's Book of American Folk Tales and Songs (Dutton, 1989) contains a scarier version of "Wait Till Martin Comes," but this collection's "Taily-po" is spookier than Joanna Galdone's retelling (Clarion, 1979). One of the best-written stories is Bruce Coville's "Duffy's Jacket," which builds suspensefully to an unexpectedly hilarious conclusion. Students who have mean teachers will appreciate the devilish revenge in "Good-bye, Miss Patterson." However, several stories are neither funny nor spooky, among them "Rap! Rap! Rap!," an awful pun based on a familiar cumulative tale. Also, the illustrations diminish the effectiveness of the retellings. The artist's sherbet-hued palette does not create even a slightly scary ambiance, and while some of the cartoon illustrations are humorous, most of them add little to the book. Many of the compositions suffer from a lack of focal points, which creates jumbled images. Skip this book, and rely on the standards from which these selections were taken.
Cheri Estes, Dorchester Road Regional Library, Charleston, SC
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Featuring sharp-toothed yet ultimately benign monsters, round-headed children and a few nonthreatening witches and ghosts, the inimitable Wilson's art for this volume is playful rather than hair-raising. The same can be said of the bulk of the 19 stories. Included are folktales from a spectrum of countries, retold by such familiar writers as Isaac Bashevis Singer, Stephanie Calmenson and Alison Lurie; adaptations of a couple of classics (Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Charles Dickens's Captain Murderer); as well as more recent stories by Eric Weiner, Laurence Yep, Bruce Coville, Penelope Lively and others. Given this lineup, it is not surprising that the quality of the storytelling is consistently high. Several of the tales are a bit silly, but a handful are ideal for reading aloud-preferably on a dark and stormy night. Ages 8-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Alice Lowe, Alice Low (Editor), Gahan Wilson (Illustrator)
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