Thursday, October 22, 2009

Neewolah Redux: Tell Me Another Scary Story by Carl Reiner

Do you remember the scary story I told you about my neighbor, Mr. Neewollah and how when I was a little boy, he once scared me to death?

Well, here's another even scarier story about Mr. Neewollah that may give you nightmares.

If you think it might be too scary, don't turn the page--it's up to YOU!

Going over to Mr. Neewollah's house is a real trip! His day job is to construct masks and costumes for horror movies, and he LOVES his work! He loves scary things so much he even created his own name by spelling HALLOWEEN backwards, and he loves to share his work with anyone brave enough to venture into his spooky basement. Just before Halloween Mr. Neewollah calls with a special invitation to come over for a hamburger and a special viewing of his costume.

"I am working on something really really scary and when I finish it, I think it will be the scariest one I ever made in my whole life,' he chuckled. "I promise you that it will make your eyes pop and your hair stand straight up!"

But when the kid arrives at Neewollah's house, there's no answer at the door. A couple of hamburgers and a ketchup bottle sit on the kitchen table, but there's no one upstairs. Thinking about how Mr. Neewollah once taught him how to use ketchup as fake blood, the kid heads down to the basement workroom. There he comes upon a scene that almost does stand his hair straight up.

Neewollah lies motionless on the floor, a bloody puncture mark on his neck, beside the figure of a vampire with crimson fangs!! But then the kid remembers the fake blood trick and tastes the red substance on the vampire's fangs. Ketchup all right! HA!

"Okay, Mr. Neewollah. You sure scared me a whole lot. You can get up now."

But Mr. Neewollah did not get up.

When I got closer I saw that the ketchup on Mr. Neewollah's forehead that looked like real blood was not ketchup--IT was real blood!

Carl Reiner's latest scary story, Tell Me Another Scary Story...But Not Too Scary!: (HC with CD), (Dove, 2009) brings a new "not too scary" story to elementary readers. This time the kid gets to be the real hero of the tale with a happy--not scary--ending. Nicely illustrated by James Bennett, this story is just right for Halloween parties and sleepovers and comes with its own CD to enjoy by the light of flickering Jack o'-Lanterns.

Reiner's earlier Tell Me a Scary Story...But Not Too Scary! (Byron Preiss Books) is reviewed in my post of October 29, 2008.



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