Tomorrow is Halloween. So, of course my post topic pondering drew me to the obvious, “Favorite Halloween Picture Books of Yore.” Which then led me to skip down memory lane and remember my favorites.
But that all seemed lovely, predictable, and over-done.
So, then I began to wonder about what picture books really did scare me when I was little, and why?
They were not Halloween books. They were not even about monsters, or goblins, or being alone.
The book that scared me the most as a child was, The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss. A story where a large animal comes to the child’s home when their mom is away and destroys everything. It terrified me. It was that feeling of utter loss of control, destruction, something bad happening to people that I loved, and fear of getting in trouble. It also was the fact that I knew that it wasn’t supposed to frighten me, but it did.
So, I forced myself to think about this further, remembering how afraid my younger brother was of Where the Wild Things Are, yet had a poster of it up in his room. I remembered that the Halloween books that I read to my children never really scared them, they excited them. And I thought about picture books that I thought my kids would love, but there was something that, as an adult, I didn’t think about that made them feel afraid.
Halloween books usually have some of the best page turns ever. They are often good books to study and draw inspiration from for using in any books for pacing and building suspense. Talk about a perfect structure and set up.
Today, I thought it would be fun to turn this post over to you. If you can give this topic a bit of a think and comment below on an unexpected picture book that scared you as a child?
I would love to share your thoughts.
And Happy Halloween, everyone!