From the remarkably original storyteller whose most recent collection of offbeat, suspenseful tales was Three Dreams and a Nightmare (1988), five stories for younger readers and listeners--especially the third-graders who asked Gorog for ""a book of scary funny stories [that] also include a truly gross story."" With panache, Gorog complies. There's one story about a boy who's comfortable with the grand miscellany of his dad's junkyard--until a damaged angel seems to request a place on his grave; another about Mrs. Beelzebub, who insists on giving Zach wet kisses--until his mounting apprehension is defused with humor in a surprise ending. The title story features the nighttime terrors caused by a quintessentially untidy room whose occupant Finds it cozily comfortable by day; and as advertised, ""Smelly Sneakers"" is--in third-grade style--truly gross, while good-humoredly making an adult point. Gorog knows her audience; by exaggerating familiar objects, situations, or people, she examines children's apprehensions, following each delicious thrill with gusts of laughter. Root's delicate pen drawings are full of intriguing detail, perfectly in tune with the stories' unusual wry flavor and wit. Great to share aloud or read alone.