cover image The Scary Book

The Scary Book

. Morrow Junior Books, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10654-6

The tone of this compilation of stories, poems and jokes for Halloween is exemplified by Calmenson's retelling of the traditional ``Tailypo.'' A man eats the tail of a strange creature which then comes after him seeking its ``tailypo.'' Here, rather than eating him, the creature ``turned him upside down, and shook, shook, shook him.'' The tail falls out and is retrieved, making the ending less scary than the original's. Other contributors include John Ciardi, Jane Yolen and Shel Silverstein--``The baby bat / Screamed out in fright, / `Turn on the dark, / I'm afraid of the light.' '' Line drawings--more zany than spooky--by Demarest ( No Peas for Nellie ; Morton and Sydney ) appear throughout, though a few tales, such as Coles's ``Bony-Legs'' and Lobel's ``Strange Bumps,'' feature black-and-white versions of their original illustrations. In the spirit of Cole and Calmenson's previous efforts ( Ready . . . Set . . . Read! ; The Laugh Book ), this is a solid, enjoyable collection. Ages 7-up. (Sept.)