When one thinks of Clive Barker, a million different things may come to mind. He defined fantasy with Imajica and The Great and Secret Show. He seduced us with Galilee, and horrified us with his Books of Blood and The Hellbound Heart. His movies have shown us scores of things we never would have otherwise seen. If you’re a fan, you’re no doubt already aware of The Thief of Always, a truly classic work of fantasy and horror for children.
Harvey Swick is bored. Fearing that the ‘cruel, slumbering beast February’ will swallow him whole, Harvey must look into himself to find out what it really is that he wants. All of his questions are answered with the arrival of a stranger named Rictus, who offers to take him away from all the boredom. Their destination is The Holiday House, where Harvey soon finds that every day spans all seasons and whatever he wishes for will come true. With Spring every morning, Summer every afternoon, Autumn and Halloween every evening, and Winter and Christmas every night, what more could any child want? Upon entering The Holiday House, Harvey finds two friends – Lulu and Wendell – to spend his days with in happiness. That is, until he finds that things aren’t entirely what they seem…and there may be no escape from The Holiday House.
A fantastic story, this young adult novel is essential reading for a burgeoning horror fan and anyone with a thirst for something truly unique. Come on back Wednesdays this month for more holiday horror for kids!
Sometimes as you peruse your bookshelf, you know nothing but a classic will do. And nothing in the picture book world is more classic than Dr. Seuss! This lesser-known Suess is tons of fun and a perfect fit for little guys who like a bit of creepiness in their tall tales. The new glow-in-the-dark edition is extra fun, too!
Walking in the woods one night, the main character of this wacky little volume spies ‘a pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them’. He’s normally not afraid of anything, but when he starts seeing these spooky empty pants moving about everywhere he goes he becomes terrified of them. Finally one night he comes face-to-face with the pale green pants and starts screaming and yelling for help. How will the pants react, and what will become of this unwanted encounter?
This is a cute story with a happy ‘don’t be afraid of something just because it’s different than you’ ending. The illustrations are classic Seuss with a dark twist. Almost everything but the main character and the pants is just black line drawing on a green background, lending the book an excellent spooky night-time feel.
Blend the whimsical rhyming genius of Dr. Seuss with a creepy mystery to get to the bottom of and what do you have? A book that thrills our mini horror-fiends. Worth a read!
For those who are fans of folklore, monsters, or just a good yarn, this picture book is a real treat. Steve Vernon’s wild tales about the monsters of the Maritime region are brought vividly to life by the talented illustrations of Jeff Soloway, creating a lively picture book that kids will love.
With a colourful full-page illustration, imaginative story and loads of factoids for each of the fifteen monsters in the book, you’ll learn more than you even knew was possible about the mythical beasts of the maritimes. From location and diet to a detailed physical description and special advice for monster-hunting, Vernon covers it all.
From ‘Old Hook Snout’ to ‘Sheila the Sea Hag’, this is a great little book. As a set of bedtime tales, entertainment for your little one’s next campfire soiree, or just for fun, you won’t be disappointed!
The Book That Eats People, written by John Perry and illustrated by Mark Fearing
If you decide to take our advice and check out this book, please be careful. It eats people. First it ate Sammy Ruskin. Then it trashed a pile of books and ate a library security guard before disguising itself as a book about dolphins to get a little girl to take it home with her. Yes…the book ate her too. AND a group of children who found it in a box in an alley! So the police put it in jail, where it ate another prisoner. The book gets sent to the zoo for rehabilitation and they try feeding it all sorts of delicious things, but to no avail. The book CRAVES people!
Some survival tips for handling this book:
1. Close it and put heavy things on top if you hear growling and think it’s getting hungry.
2. Never ever read it alone!
3. Never read or hold the book while you have food on your hands or in your pockets.
4. If you hear a noise ‘like an octopus in a tub of yogurt’, the book is starving and you’d better put it near somebody who looks like they might be delicious (every man for himself when it comes to people-eating books, I suppose).
This book is hilariously dark and gruesome, I love it! It’s awesome for reading out loud, especially if you’re not afraid to rant and rave and carry on (my personal specialty!). It’s especially fun if the book occasionally jumps off your lap and tries to eat the audience (okay, maybe that would be traumatizing for a more sensitive child, but mine thought it was funny…use good judgment here, folks!). The art is fantastic and has a dark humour all its own.
I really consider The Book That Eats People a must-have for a children’s horror collection. Run out and grab a copy! Just exercise caution – the book is always hungry.