It's Bradbury Season again: "October Country," Autumn, and Halloween.
I love dark nights and creepy stories as much as the next person, but you've got to break those toddlers in slowly. Let's face it: A two year old can't appreciate The Raven.
Fortunately, we have Bill Martin Jr. and Steven Kellogg's underappreciated classic A Beasty Story to introduce the younger set to a spooky storytelling mode. A Beasty Story begins creepily enough with, "In a dark, dark wood there is a dark, dark house. In the dark brown house there is a dark, dark stair." Oooh. Already the room is silent. Bill Martin Jr.'s rhythm is never off as we follow four mice protagonists from room to room in search of A BEAST. Kellogg's iconic illustrations combine a mightily scary beast with large yellow eyes and four cute mice in matching basketball outfits to comforting effect. The penultimate pages are scary and shocking, with the Beast looming over the frightened mice. But all's well that ends well as the story comes to a sweet, realistic, and beasty conclusion.
If you'll be reading to the toddler or preschool set this Bradbury Season, read them A Beasty Story. You won't be disappointed.
Other Bradbury Season posts:
Jackie at Interactive Reader: The Curse of the Rumbaughs.
The Seven Imps: Adam Rex and Frankenstein.
Little Willow: Christopher Golden's Prowlers.
Fuse Number 8: ABC Spookshow
Kelly at Writing and Ruminating loves Neil Gaiman and tells us all why
Liz B.: The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding
And Gwenda, Shaken & Stirred : Literary vampires: