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!

Stop! You NEED these books!

We all know that kids like to be read to.  They love it, even.  Even when it’s the worst piece of mind-numbing drivel, the kids don’t seem to mind.  Even when it’s the worst piece of drivel for the 83rd time in a row…let’s face it.  The kids don’t give a shit!
So these picture books aren’t for the kids (although it’s a safe bet they’ll love them too).  These books are for YOU, horror-loving parents.  I know you’re one cutesy piece of picture-book torture away from running screaming down the street flailing like Grover and refusing to ever read to your offspring again.  We don’t want that.  (Shhhhh, it’s all right.  Books good.  Don’t be afraid, poor terrorized parent.  We can help you, never fear.)
The six picture books I have for you today are nothing but pure awesome, and I promise they’ll be just as much fun for you as the tiny terror you’re reading them to.  No really.  You’ll see!

Alpha Oops: H is for Halloween, written by Alethea Kontis and illustrated by Bob Kolar

A fun and beautiful book with a style reminiscent of vintage Halloween decorations, this is a favorite around here.  Any alphabet book that has both ‘kraken’ and ‘lycanthrope’ in it is okay by me!

Boris and Bella, written by Carolyn Crimi and illustrated by Gris Grimly

Boris and Bella, the tale of two ghoulishly feuding characters, is hilarious and makes a great read-aloud.  Creepy illustrations by the talented Gris Grimly really bring it to life and give it an awesome atmosphere.

The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme, written by Bobbi Katz and illustrated by Adam McCauley

The Monsterologist is a collection of rhyming poetry that takes you through the adventures of a monster expert.  It’s funny, ingenious, and all around beautiful to look at, just an amazingly designed book.

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich written and illustrated by Adam Rex

This is a classic, the book we credit with sending us down the path that led eventually to KinderScares.  Absolutely hilarious monster poetry both written and illustrated by the inimitable Adam Rex.  Although kids love it, you’ll be laughing hardest while they keep asking “What’s so funny?”.  And if you love it as much as we do (you will), there’s a sequel, Frankenstein Takes the Cake.

The Book That Eats People, written by John Perry and illustrated by Mark Fearing

Please be careful when purchasing this book.  It eats people.

Awesomely dark and entertaining, this is one of my all-time favourites.  I like to end my read-aloud rendition by chasing the kids around the room screeching and making it try to eat them.  You, um, might want to NOT do that.  I hear therapy’s expensive.

Goodnight Goon, written and illustrated by Michael Rex

Last my dears, but far from least, I bring you the piece de resistance.  For every mom and dad who has suffered through Goodnight Moon so many times they can recite it by heart, I have the most badass parody in the history of the written word. Yes.  Goodnight GOON!  Full of monsters and martians and goo, this is the version horror fans everywhere will fall in love with.  Mr. Michael Rex – we salute you.

So get out there, parents, and buy your kids a new book today!  It won’t hurt, I promise.

Meet KinderScares – the tiniest of terrors await you!

Kiddie Cthulhu

Even the most die-hard badasses grow up and have kids someday.  The founders of Dreadful Tales actually sport a combined five mini monster-lovers between them.  It stands to reason that a few of you horror-lit fans have spawned as well…and that’s why DT has offered myself and KinderScares a home here amongst the grown-up terrors of the written word.

The original KinderScares site was created by Colum and myself in late 2009 using a very simple formula: books+monsters+kids = awesome.  It was dreamed up for all the children who love things dark and spooky, and especially for all those horror-loving parents who just really can’t read one more story about bunnies or a great green room without stabbing themselves in the eye.  If you’d rather read to your little ones about monsters, beasts and things that go bump in the night, I’m here to help!

I’m thrilled to be a part of Dreadful Tales, and after scouring bookstores and libraries for everything scary and monster-related for the almost seven years I’ve been a parent, there’s no one more qualified to help you traumatize your children.  I hope our book suggestions for the littlest of monster-lovers will be a valuable resource to parents looking to share a love of horror with their kids, or anyone who’s interested in seeing what’s out there for tiny fiends.

Sweet screams,

Shelagh