child-friendly collection of spooky stories from all over the world.
This cross-cultural collection of supernatural folktales includes such characters as a talking skull, a malevolent giantess, and a clever thief. The stories, arranged by theme and representing six continents, are concise—most no more than three pages long—and told in plainspoken prose (“Long ago, the sweetest apples in France grew on a tree that belonged to a very grumpy woman”). Each tale notes its place of origin, and though the various protagonists encounter an array of startling bogeys (among them death and a devil), most come away safe and wiser for the experience, leaving readers with pleasantly gentle chills. Andronic’s gouache artwork combines folkloric and modern sensibilities. With its emphasis on the spooky versus the scary, it’s an excellent choice for young readers building their bravery. Ages 5–8. (Sept.)