Two Lions, 2010. 978-0761456551
Synopsis: Reader beware! Open at your own risk! This collection of poems is hoping to scare. From mummies to spiders to vampires to ghouls, these poems are sure to give goose bumps from forehead to ankle!
Why I picked it up: The title and the art reminded me a lot of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and while I am not a huge fan of things that go bump in the night, I can appreciate a good scary story/poem/film.
Why I finished it: I don’t know about everyone else, but I don’t see very many collections of poems that deal with Halloween, but this collection is very well written. These poems are just the right amount of creepy to make you nervous about all the little ghosties and ghoulies that haunt our nightmares and hide under our beds. They’re also a little bit whimsical, since horror draws on what it is we fear the most. There’s also some classic creatures like werewolves, witches, Frankenstein’s monster, and Dracula. Olander’s illustrations give the poems an extra edge to them, bringing to life a ghost train, a ghost fish, a kid zombie, and a haunted house. The drawings are in black and white, but I feel like this is part of their charm and what makes them fit so well with this book. I think what I liked most about it was that it was fun without being too over the top on the fear factor. It’s a refreshing look at the things that make us sure to turn on the lights when we enter a room and make sure that we don’t run toward the noise coming from the top of the stairs.
Other related materials: Poetry for Young People: Edgar Allan Poe edited by Brod Bagert, illustrated by Carolynn Cobleigh, Literally Disturbed: Tales to Keep You Up at Night by Ben H. Winters, illustrated by Adam E. Watkins; A Field Guide to Aliens: Intergalactic Worrywarts, Bubblonauts, Silver-Slurpers, and Other Extraterrestria writtend and illustrated by Joahn Olander; A Field Guide to Monsters: Goggly-Eyed Wart Floppers, Shadows-Casters, Toe-Eaters, and Other Creatures written and illustrated by Joahn Olander; Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams by Janet S. Wong, illustrated by Julie Paschkis; The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illustrations by Dave McKean; Short & Shivery: Thirty Chilling Tales by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Katherine Coville; A Terrifying Taste of Short & Shivery by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Katherine Coville; More Short and Shivery: Thirty Terrifying Tales by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Katherine Coville; Even More Short and Shivery: Thirty Chilling Tales by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers; Ask the Bones: Scary Stories from Around the World retold by Arielle North Olson and Howard Schwartz, illustrated by David Linn