Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite
It was a dark and stormy night. I never thought I’d get to use those opening words, first penned by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, but they describe this story exactly. The Scariest Story You’ve Ever Heard by Ron Keres and designed by Arthur Lin is intended to be too scary for pictures. The power has gone out. The pages are black. The words do the job, just like telling a scary story in the dark. Readers and listeners can try to picture what is happening, along with the brothers in this imaginative tale, who hear unexpected sounds in the night that get their hearts and imaginations pumping. Thump, screams, crunch, crunch, crunch, drip drop, drip drop, grrr, clang and bang. Just what you need to get scared in the night.
Ron Keres’ sense of humor shines through in this story, just as it did in It’s Not That Big a Deal, also illustrated by Arthur Lin. The Scariest Story You've Ever Heard isn’t The Monkey’s Paw or The Telltale Heart. It is appropriate for children aged 4-8 and is also a suitable bedtime story. You might want to read this book in a darkened room, illuminating the words by flashlight to bring out the best effect. Show the creative typography to your listeners if they are old enough to read. Pause now and then to ask your listeners what they think is making all those sounds. Laugh with them when the brothers’ curiosity gets the better of them and they go hunting for the monster. Recommended for naptime, bedtime, or daytime reading.