Spooky ABC
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Spooky ABC

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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  146 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Untold hazards haunt this alphabet book -- APPLES you don't dare bite, BATS that lurk and swoop, CRAWLERS that creep right down into your gizzard...

(And that's just the first three letters!)

Ever since its first publication in 1987 as "Halloween ABC," this collection of poems by renowned poet Eve Merriam and images from Caldecott Honor artist Lane Smith has been mesmerizing...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (first published November 1st 1987)
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Ronyell
I usually do reviews from the Epinions website, but since everyone in the Banned Books Club were discussing this book, I just had to review this book! “Halloween ABC” is an ABC book by Eve Merriam along with illustrations by Lane Smith and this book is about various symbols and creatures of Halloween being described through the letters of the alphabet. “Halloween ABC” may be extremely controversial for its macabre content, but it is still a truly worthy book to read around Halloween time!

There a...more
Kelly  Maybedog
I am SO going to get this book for all my friends.

Halloween ABC was banned for being frightening, violent, anti-Christian (supernatural themes), and generally unsuitable for children.

This book and Spooky ABC are exactly the same, no wording changes. The newer one, Spooky ABC, is nicer with black backgrounds framing the pictures instead of light yellow and an afterward explaining how the book came to be.

This may be a picture book but it was never intended for little kids. The word usage is way t...more
Bonnie
This is a fun little Halloween ABC rhyming picture book for kids. Ended up on the banned/challenged book list, but I’m really not quite sure why. I let my kids read it right after I did and they had a lot of fun with it.

The pictures were actually the best part, they were beautiful color paintings.



My favorite lines were also associated with the above picture, from ‘P for Pet’:
…a pet that’s not the least bit vicious,
yet finds the neighbors quite nutritious.

Kelly  Maybedog
I am SO going to get this book for all my friends.

Halloween ABC was banned for being frightening, violent, anti-Christian (supernatural themes), and generally unsuitable for children.

This book and Spooky ABC are exactly the same, no wording changes. The newer one, Spooky ABC, is nicer with black backgrounds framing the pictures instead of light yellow and an afterward explaining how the book came to be.

This may be a picture book but it was never intended for little kids. The word usage is way t...more
Rfrancik
Need some creepy clever poetry to spice up your October read-alouds? Be sure to check out Halloween ABC.

Originally published in 1987 as Halloween ABC this alphabet book re-released as Spooky ABC is best shared with the 4th-8th grade crowd as the images and language are most suited to this age group. There are illustrations to go with each creepy poem and the darkened color used throughout the volume provide a suitably spooky mood. Those who serve children with vision problems should be aware the...more
Marsha
Sly, humorous and gently creepy, the poems Eve Merriam has crafted to illustrate the alphabet surprise, amuse and provoke thought with their decidedly unusual choices. I found myself taken aback by the frustration of “Key” and enjoying the enigma of “Mask”. I was touched by the unexpected sadness of “Jack O’Lantern”, amused by the rotundity of “Owl” (which repeats the O in its title throughout its poem and attendant illustration) and pleased by the sly alliteration found in “Viper”. These are as...more
Cheryl in CC NV
Ok, I wasn't brave enough to read every word or examine every picture. But people (of all ages!) who like the feel of chills up their spine, and people who like dark fairy tales and Goosebumps books, will enjoy this. Eve Merriam is one of my very favorite poets - she writes for children but doesn't talk down to them even when she's writing about bunnies and flowers. This collaboration is a masterpiece. Try to get this newer edition so you can see the 'making of' essay and the 'lost' pictures.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Oct 12, 2012 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: Kelly Maybedog
Shelves: children-ya
I feel like this is one of those books in search of an audience, to some extent. I mean, it superficially seems like a book that you read to young children. But do you want to have to explain to a too-young-to-read child what a hangman is? Nice art though.

I recommend checking out Spooky ABC, the updated version — it's got larger pictures and bright background colors which give it more visual pop.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Oct 12, 2012 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: Kelly Maybedog
Shelves: children-ya
I feel like this is one of those books in search of an audience, to some extent. I mean, it superficially seems like a book that you read to young children. But do you want to have to explain to a too-young-to-read child what a hangman is? Nice art though.

I recommend checking out Spooky ABC, the updated version — it's got larger pictures and bright background colors which give it more visual pop.
Eden
Originally published as Halloween ABC, this revised edition offers the same spooky poems and includes even than the original. Such as illustrations that weren't used in the original book.

I liked this. The poetry was very good and creepy. This is definitely a fun book for Halloween.
Danielle Brill
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam is an alphabet book of poems. Each letter gets its own creepy and crawly poem about demons, murder, witches, and so much more. Each poem and letter has an equally creepy illustration accompanying it, always with dark halloween colors. I thought this was a very creative alphabet book but I would be careful of the age group it gets read to. One poem I found particularly graphic was for the letter I.

Icicle
“An icy stabbing so swiftly done,
the victim scarcely felt it.
Th...more
Emily
I have mixed feelings about this book because there are some poems that I really liked and some that I didn't. I personally like shorter poems, like these, to rhyme because it creates a better flow. Many of the poems that I didn't like were fine, until, Merriam threw in a verse that didn't rhyme or didn't seem to fit well with the rest of the poem. It completely threw off my flow as I was reading, and as a result I had to go back and reread to make sense of the words. I didn't like having to do...more
Annelise
Drily sinister, foreboding poems and atmospheric, evocative illustration. All atmosphere, zero gags. Chills, not thrills.
Very creepy combination, two spooky thumbs up.
Eric Summers
I wanted to give this book 4 stars but it is obvious that the author was phoning it in on some of the entries in order to finish up the whole alphabet. With that being said, there are some pretty scary poems in here, and a few that might be considered controversial in the eyes of some parents, so I can see this book being tucked out of sight from mom and dad in the backpacks of 12 year old boys everywhere.

Around Halloween time, a few selections might be fun for read-aloud, but overall the book i...more
Mary
I absolutely LOVE this book! It combines Halloween, poetry and the alphabet. Because of the subject matter of some of the poems, I would recommend this for ages 8 & up. It's a great book to use during October for Halloween or APril for Poetry Month. An easy writing activity for the children to do it as them to think of something that reminds them of Halloween and write a short poem about it. My favorite is Icicle!
Molly
I thought this would be great for Sam, since we're pretty into alphabet books. I think I read it to him through the letter F then stopped because it was just too creepy. I'm not sure if I'll get this again b/c by the time a kid's old enough to not be creeped out, he likely won't be into alphabet books anymore. Not sure what to rate it. I'm sure it's great, just not for us right now.
Michael Koreis
This is a great ABC book for older audiences because it is actually scary. I find it a tad bit graphic for younger audiences so I dont think that I would put it in my classroom but I would definitely recommend it for a scary halloween story. One thing that caught my eye was how good the illustrations were, yet they did not distract the reader from the reading at all.
Jenna
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! This book is filled with poems in alphabetical order, hence the title. Each letter has something to do with Halloween. There are some items that I would not put in the Halloween category, but the poems create a scene where the items fit perfectly.
Julia
I love this book but make no mistake about it, it is DARK. Some kids like to be scared (and I believe that in a bizarre way, fear of the unknown is one of the great pleasures of childhood), but this book is NOT for the sensitive child in your class!
Marc Lucke
Macabre and dark, Halloween ABC is a welcome change of pace from tamer seasonal children's fare. Although apparently aimed at an older audience, my 2nd-grader appreciated the creepy verses and weird illustrations.
Sandy
Not your typical ABC book, it has 26 Halloween poems that will make you think and read them twice. This is a great read aloud for older children and even high school. A great book for anyone who loves Halloween as much as I do.
Leaflet
Great illustrations by Lane Smith, creepy poems, and certain to get some folks up-in-arms, crying for banishment. Read it to your favorite little nipper and scare the bejeebers out of 'em.
Emerson School  Library
3rd grade 10/2010 - very creepy, very evocative - they loved it, but I had to pick and choose
Way too creepy to read younger than 3rd grade, in my opinion
Kim
touted as "a newly designed Halloween ABC"; eerie poems and gorgeous spooky illustrations

themes: alphabet, Halloween, poetry
Lynn Alpert
Love the illustrations! Land Smith is one of my favorite illustrators and this is the first book of his that I owned.
Shelli
Creepy illustrations and poems meant to be read in a spooky voice = fun read to share around Hallows Eve.
Bvlmc Buchanan Verplanck Elementary School
Serious poems for each letter of the alphabet all dealing with Halloween, fall or spooky themes.
Rachelccameron
The poems were rather disappointing... the illustrations alone could have done a lot more.
Rebecca Ferguson
Each letter of the alphabet talks about a different aspect of Halloween. (Poetry)
Joannemarie Faust
on the banned/challenged list. An alphabet book.
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