THE OXFORD BOOK OF SCARY TALES by Dennis Pepper

THE OXFORD BOOK OF SCARY TALES

adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A potpourri of original and traditional ghosts, monsters, shadows, night terrors, and other unpleasant surprises from the likes of Ian Serrallier, Maria Leach, Adäle Geras, and dozens more, with vibrantly dramatic pictures by a host of modern illustrators. Half of these stories and poems are previously unpublished; the rest are of relatively recent vintage. Verses from Dave Calder's cumulative ``Key to the Castle'' (``This is the rat with the yellow teeth/Sharp as sorrow and long as grief'') start and finish the collection on a proper note. In between, readers can quail at ``The Start of a Memorable Holiday'' at the Hotel Hades (Roy Fuller); flee the ``Great Swallowing Monster'' (Geraldine McCaughrean); suffer a Christmas visit from Jan Mark's ``No-Good Claus,'' who steals stockings; or experience being small and lost in a crowded ``Supermarket'' (Dennis Hamley). Eeriness and dead people are common here, but there's little pain or violence, while the illustrations are more suggestive than explicit. Despite the book's length, each story seems fresh, thanks partly to their varied art and typography. Especially hair-raising in small doses. (Folklore/Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 1992
ISBN: 0-19-278131-6
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Oxford Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1992