cover image Spooky


Gahan Wilson. Hyperion Books, $19.95 (128pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0012-4

Featuring sharp-toothed yet ultimately benign monsters, round-headed children and a few nonthreatening witches and ghosts, the inimitable Wilson's art for this volume is playful rather than hair-raising. The same can be said of the bulk of the 19 stories. Included are folktales from a spectrum of countries, retold by such familiar writers as Isaac Bashevis Singer, Stephanie Calmenson and Alison Lurie; adaptations of a couple of classics (Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Charles Dickens's Captain Murderer); as well as more recent stories by Eric Weiner, Laurence Yep, Bruce Coville, Penelope Lively and others. Given this lineup, it is not surprising that the quality of the storytelling is consistently high. Several of the tales are a bit silly, but a handful are ideal for reading aloud-preferably on a dark and stormy night. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)