All Hallow’s Read (Day 5) – Fortunately, The Milk

FortunatelyMilk_USJacketToday’s All Hallow’s Read recommendation is for the younger folks in your life, or maybe for the ones who are still young at heart. Give them something to read while they inhale sugar, and run around like loud, crazy hooligans. Or you could just give the book to a kid.

As you know, All Hallow’s Read is the brainchild of Neil Gaiman, the man who suggests that we all give each other books this Halloween, to go along with the always important candy and zombie teeth. In his honour, this is a book suggestion to spread the joy, and the terror, to those too young for books like Nightwhere. (This includes me.)

FortunatelyMilk_UKFortunately, The Milk is the latest book by Mr. Gaiman himself, just released in September. The US version (which I have) is illustrated amazingly, frantically and a bit creepily by Skottie Young, whereas the UK version (which I will pay someone to smuggle overseas for me) contains the beautifully detailed and somewhat more traditional illustrations of Chris Riddell. Gaiman has described this book as his silliest book ever, which he wrote for dads, and in which dads get to do all of the really cool things that they normally get to do on a daily basis. Gaiman has said that this is partly to make up for the oblivious father in The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish.

Now I can hear you thinking, “But Kendra, that book doesn’t sound scary at ALL”. But you’re wrong! It is absolutely terrifying. It starts off tragically, with 2 children facing the prospect of breakfast with nothing to put on cereal except orange juice. Their mother has abandoned them to go to a conference, and now they can’t even enjoy their Toastios. Heroically, Dad volunteers to go down to the shop on the corner to get milk. After an agonizing wait, Dad finally returns home, and begins the story of his dangerous and harrowing quest.

“I bought the milk,” said my father. “And I did indeed say a brief hello to Mister Ronson from over the road, who was buying a paper. I walked out of the corner shop, and heard something odd that seemed to be coming from above me. It was a noise like this: thummthumm. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.” “Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.”

Now, if you’re not scared yet, then you are a far braver soul than most, but just wait! That is only the beginning of Dad’s tale… before he opens the spaceship door, and lets the space-time continuum in. What then? Captured by pirates! Rescued by a time-travelling stegosaurus in a balloon! Captured by jungle dwelling people who plan to sacrifice him to the volcano god, Spold! Ponies, piranhas, aliens, and wumpires! And through it all, that crucial question: Can Dad hold on to the milk, and bring it safely back to his hungry children?

So if you think that a child in your life can handle that kind of excitement and terror, then I strongly suggest that you give them Fortunately, The Milk this Halloween. And then you should probably read it too, to prepare yourself to soothe them when they wake from their nightmares of Toastios drowning in orange juice. Just make sure there is plenty of milk in the fridge for breakfast.

All Hallows Read (Day 26) A scary book for…

…people who like their fiction short.  Really short.

 

Fiction doesn’t come much shorter or more awesome than Half-Minute Horrors! This collection of super-short tales by a variety of well-known writers is aimed at kids around 10 and up. It’s also creepy as all get out! These little bites of literary terror even scared us a few times.

 

All Hallow’s Read is a book-giving tradition thought up by author Neil Gaiman. We’ll be making book suggestions all month long in case you need ideas!

All Hallow’s Read (Day 25) A scary book for…

…kids of all ages!

This here is the KinderScares edition of our All Hallow’s Read book suggestions!  Most of us have a little person or two in our lives we’d love to share some Halloween fun with, and All Hallow’s Read is the perfect tradition for it.  Encourage literacy, get to shop for books, give a gift, and do something for Halloween…what could be better than that?!

I’ve been recommending spooky books for kids for a long time now, and I have a plethora of horror-themed suggestions floating around in my brain.  But I’ve been procrastinating on this post for ages because the choices are killing me! I could have made a recommendation every day of this month (maybe I should do that next year?).  Instead I have this one post to cram with beloved scary children’s books, and some guilt about all the awesome ones I won’t have space for.  😉

For a baby in your life, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.  Mouse outsmarts everyone in the deep dark woods and even shows up the terrifying gruffalo!  Hilarious and cute as heck, it’s perfect for the tiniest monster-lovers and available as a board book!

For the picture book crowd (‘scary’ picture books are my favourite and I’m kind of hyperventilating having to choose just one!)…Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex.  This book is as good as parodies can get.  SO GOOD and so hilarious for those of us who have read Goodnight Moon one to0 many thousand times.

(Cheating here because I can’t suggest just one: if you’re the one who’s going to be reading the picture book to your little fiends, consider checking out my ‘picture books  horror-loving PARENTS will love’ suggestions…kids will love them too, don’t worry!)

For younger novel readers (and older ones, it’s versatile!), Coraline by Neil Gaiman.  This is one of my favourite children’s novels! Coraline is the kind of awesome heroine we’d love to see more often in children’s literature – she’s smart, resourceful, honest and courageous, not to mention creative and self-reliant.  Combined with a seriously creepy concept and a great story, it’s a winner for sure.

For the middle-grade crowd, Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger.  This is a scary book that is also plain old FUN as hell!  Zombiekins is the middle-grade equivalent of all your favourite b-grade flicks on paper.  Any kid with a penchant for thrills and big, vivid imagery will get a serious kick out of this book.  Hell, the grown-up kids will too!

We hit up YA earlier this month, so I’m stopping at middle grade and resisting the urge to add extra titles to each category.  But if there’s a kid in your life you’re looking to pick a book for and you’d like advice, don’t hesitate to drop us a line, we love to help!  And I’d be thrilled to hear YOUR scary book suggestions for kids in the comments!

All Hallow’s Read is a book-giving tradition thought up by author Neil Gaiman. We’ll be making book suggestions all month long in case you need ideas!