October 11, 2011

Four Scary Picture Books For Littles Who Kinda Like To Be Scared (With Gloriously Gruesome Illustrations)

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Not all kiddos like scary, but if yours does….we have some books for you!  The books below are just scary enough to capture a kiddo's attention, without going too far over the edge. And the illustrations in these books?  OH MAMA.  Crazy-amazing.

 

1.  Guess What, by Mem Fox and Vivienne Goodman

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R has loved this book for well over a year (He's 3.5 now).  

This book is about a witch who looks scary, but is friendly.  The book asks questions such as, "Does she wear a black hat?"  Your kiddo is then supposed to guess, you turn the page, and Voila!  There she is a black hat.  The questions get funnier:  "Does she like to cook?", and the next page will show her cooking with rat tails, and dried lizard scales, etc.  But this book is made by it's illustrations.  Whether the witch is bathing with frogs and fish, or taking a nap on a stained, roach-infested mattress, the illustrations are realistic and gruesome enough to both fascinate and horrify. Truly incredible stuff:

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2. Jack and the Beanstalk, by Steven Kellog

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The retelling of this classic story is great, but the Ogre is truly a sight to behold.  Kellog's illustrations of this dude chasing after Jack are some of the most terrifying I've found.  Raines LOVES this version.  Think snarling, drooling, roaring.  Good stuff.  We haven't found a better ogre anywhere.

(sadly, the publisher has restricted images…..) 

 

 

3. Tell Me a Scary Story…But Not Too Scary by Carl Reiner

 
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In this book, a little girl is being told a (scary) bedtime story.  Every other page the bedtime story stops, and the narrator asks, "Is this getting too scary?  Do you want me to stop?"  It helps to keep the scariness from overwhelming the story.  Also helps to reinforce story vs reality.  (You can also get this book with a CD).

The story is basically about a little boy who discovers that his creepy neighbor…(and here's the punch line)…works for a movie company to make scary costumes.  The book tells the story of how he discovers his neighbor's line of work.  

Once again, the illustrations will blow your mind.  My husband thinks that this book, hand's down, has the creepiest illustrations.   They aren't gory, just…..really, really creepy.  Shiver inducing.  Here's a tame one: 

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4.  I'm Coming To Get You! by Tony Ross

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Not sure how much scary your kiddo likes?  This is a good place to start.  The illustrations aren't nearly as realistic (or scary) as the other books, it's just the premise of the book that's so scary for little tots.  The storyline is simple:

There's a monster.  And he's coming to get little Tommy.  He waits and waits and waits…then pounces!!

As it turns out, this very fearsome monster…is actually the size of a cotton ball.

Most kids find this hilarious.  Especially since they've just spent the last 10 minutes freaking out over what's about to happen to poor Tommy.  The author does a bang-up job of building the suspense, as Tommy unsuspectingly goes about getting ready for bed….

 

A final disclaimer:  I'm writing about these books because it's Halloween season and it seems appropriate.  And because there are some kiddos who find a certain amount of scary to be delicious.  There are other kiddos (J's little Sophia, for example) who do NOT.  In no way do I think all kids "should" like scary stuff, or should all read these books.  Please take this post as a light-hearted way to kick off the Halloween season….if you dare….BWAH HA HA HA HA

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xo,

S

 

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4 Comments
  • jayme
    October 12, 2011

    Ha Shana, you soooo know my kiddo! For a super fun Halloween book that is a little less scary try The Runaway Mummy by Michael Rex. Its a “spooky” take on The Runaway Bunny and we are loving it! Also, what is the super cute looking candle thingy in your window? Looks like a fun Halloween project!

  • S
    October 12, 2011

    It IS a fun Halloween project! And crazy easy! From my fav, Play at home mom: http://playathomemom3.blogspot.com/2011/09/halloween-candles.html

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