If you are in need of some good, ghoulish tales tonight and tomorrow, take a look at this roundup of recommended reads.
Sally’s Bones by MacKenzie Cadenhead ($6.99, Sourcebooks, ages 9-12) Substitute Creacher by Chris Gall ($16.99, Little, Brown, ages 4-8) Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters: A Lullaby by Jane Yolen with illustrations by Kelly Murphy Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas ($9.99, HarperCollins, ages 2-5) What’s in the Witch’s Kitchen by Nick Sharratt ($12.99, Candlewick Press, ages 3 and up) The Monstrous Book of Monsters by Libby Hamilton with illustrations by Jonny Duddle and Aleksei Bitskoff ($17,99, Templar Books, ages 5-8)
BOO!! Right in time for the new year of quality education, SCARY SCHOOL is open and it’s inhabited by some really strange creatures, like Mr. Spider-Eyes, the hallway monitor, T Rex, who wears, of all things, a blue dress and blue bonnet, Ms. Fang, the sweetest homeroom teacher, who has one huge fang hanging out of her mouth (had she had two fangs, she would have been called Ms. Fangs! There’s Nurse Hairymoles, named as such for obvious reasons and oh, wow, she can bring you back from the dead. Trust me, she is kept extremely busy at Scary School. Then, of course, there’s Principal Headcrusher and Dr. Dragonbreath, named, yes, you guessed it, because he has really, really, really bad breath. Oh, wait! Did I mention Archie, the giant squid, who lives in the school’s moat? And… and… ooh… how could I leave out Mr. Snakeskin, the half zombie science teacher?
A new kid, Charles Nukid… no really, that’s the new kid’s name, started at Scary School that year and what a year it would be, because Scary School is chosen to host the annual, wait for it, Ghoul Games, this year. Did I mention that most of the children attending Scary School weren’t “regular” kids, like that new kid, Charles Nukid? Oh no, they were ghouls and goblins and vampires, oh my!
Now, all the ghoulish going-ons are narrated, for your reading pleasure, by none other than Derek The Ghost, who unfortunately, last year, became … a ghost, that is, when a science experiment in class went terribly, terribly wrong. And this is his story of “…all the horrible and wonderful things that go on there.”
But do not fear, my children, because even if T Rex, who wears a blue dress, eats you up whole, (almost) all you children will come back to life, as I already mentioned, just perhaps not in the same shape you were before. That is, if you’re lucky! As the terrific children’s author, Dan Gutman, of the My Weird School Daze series, is quoted on the book’s back cover, says, “I died laughing. Weird monsters in silly situations. Why didn’t I think of that?”
This is such a hilarious, okay, creepy read, but of course, not for the faint of heart. So get to your bookstore (hopefully BookStar in Studio City where there are autographed copies!) and gobble up the totally cool, Scary School!