New Format, Same Great Spooky Stories: Scary Stories Treasury by Alvin Schwartz
Just in time for Halloween reading and campfire story telling, Alvin Schwartz's definitive collection of scary folk tales has been republished in a new, larger book format, wisely keeping Caldecott illustrator Stephen Gammell's wonderful black and white illustrations.
Originally published in a three-book series, Scary Stories Treasury; Three Books to Chill Your Bones: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark/ More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark/ Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones is a welcome resource for teachers and other children's group leaders, but it is especially welcome for the audience for which it was originally intended, elementary and middle school readers. With a wide-ranging collection of stories, drawn mostly from American roots as well as world lore, there is something for everyone--short humorous tales of a page or two with minimal scariness, and for the hard-core can't-scare-me crowd, a few of the spike-your-hair, goosebump-raising killer-diller campfire tales which we've all heard in one version or another. This book is a great collectible for libraries whose older volumes are well-worn or for families who want a thrifty resource with which to dip into the spooky genre from time to time.
Also republished in a picture-book format is Schwartz's beginning reader spooky story collection In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories. There is also Schwartz' (to my mind, even better) sequel for the beginning reader set, Ghosts!: Ghostly Tales from Folklore (An I Can Read Book, Level 2.) which is genuinely accessible to early readers without giving up what makes these folk tales delightfully spooky.
Conscientious folklorist that he is, Schwartz appends scholarly sources and attributions to these tales in each book--a nice touch which places these evergreen stories within their historical settings.