A Review of Horror for Kids
Oct 7, 05:32 by IROSF
Express thoughts on these books or related topics here.
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I just stumbled across this site and decided to poke through the archives to see how well children's litereature was represented (I'm a children's librarian at the Hospital for Sick Children). I'm glad it didn't take me long to find your article which I really liked. I agree with your metaphor of the roller coaster for presenting scary stories to kids, thrilling and scary but not over the top, and I also agree that Dr. Seuss' What was I Sacred of? is a perfect mixture of silly and scary.
I think your disappointment with The Wolves in the Walls is understandable but also a bit predictable. I like Neil Gaiman and find he's very imaginative and a capable writer. I think he's made a successful transition as a children's author as well. I loved Coraline! His picture books are a little problematic however. The story itself is not bad, but I think McKean's art may not be the best match if you have younger kids in mind. It's just a little too disturbing IMHO. I don't profess to know your children and I'm not sure how old they were but kids don't always want to own up to being spooked. I do find it noteworthy that your child's criticism was of the art, even if the complaint was that it was 'messy' rather than scary. I don't know about you but I think the humans with their vaguely geometric not quite animate faces (especially Lucy) are actually scarier than the wolves! That's what gets me anyway. I think as a young child I would have found this all the more disturbing. It worked really well for Coraline which is more likely to be read by kids in grade 4-6. But not knowing a given kid really well, if I had to take a shot I'd go for something with gentler art. Paul Galdone's Tailypo, or King of the Cats for example. It's interesting to note that both these stories are folktales and as such are actually darker than the Wolves strictly on the narrative level, but the art tends to mitigate. Robert San Souci's Hobyahs also comes to mind.
[ Edited: Nov 22, 16:55 ] [ Reply ]
I completely agree. I think Gaiman's new book, Blueberry Girl, with Charles Vess, is a much more appealing aesthetic for children.
[ Edited: Nov 30, 00:00 ] [ Reply ]
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