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Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep

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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  179 ratings  ·  32 reviews
"A dozen original poems on the `horrifying' subjects (ghouls, vampires, skeletons, etc.) so dear to many young hearts....Your steel-nerved patrons will appreciate both poems and pictures."--School Library Journal.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 1st 1976 by Greenwillow Books (first published June 1st 1976)
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The Halloween Tree by Ray BradburyGods of The Nowhere by James TipperSomething Wicked This Way Comes by Ray BradburyDracula by Bram StokerThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Bo Hampton
Best Halloween Books
31st out of 322 books — 433 voters
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda WilliamsThe Hallo-wiener by Dav PilkeyThe Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree by Stan BerenstainRoom on the Broom by Julia DonaldsonScary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
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84th out of 240 books — 311 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 407)
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Ronyell
Jan 12, 2010 Ronyell rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children ages 7 and up
Shelves: arnold-lobel
Nightmares” is a book of poems written by Jack Prelutsky along with illustrations by Arnold Lobel. This book contains poems about various monsters, wizards and ghosts doing horrible things to unsuspecting people. “Nightmares” might be too scary for smaller children, but older children will love the macabre content of this book.

Jack Prelutsky’s writing is dramatic and intense as he brings true horror to these poems. Each poem describes a monster doing horrible acts towards their victims and Jack
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Kristi
Nov 16, 2012 Kristi added it
Interest Level: 3rd-5th
Lexile Level: N/A
Genre: Poetry
Main characters: N/A
Point of View: First person
Setting: N/A

Nightmares is a collection of twelve poems about ghosts, ghouls, boogie men, vampires and many other spooky creatures. The illustrations are in black and white, and they make the poems come to life. These creepy poems use detailed sensory words to give children nightmarish images. The rhyme scheme of these poems are written so that there are four lines in each stanza. For some of the
...more
Svetlana Goncharoff
Review – Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep

This book needs to come with a disclaimer that it actually lives up to it's sub-title. This compilation of poems really does trouble your sleep. At least it did mine. Nevertheless, whatever creatures of nightmares troubled Jack Prelutsky's sleep, I am glad the author wrote it down.

Prelutsky is extremely talented in his use of alliteration and rhyme. His poems are full of these literary devices. While I feel like some poets insert so many literary d
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John Garrigan
Age Recommendation: 8+

Jack Prelutsky can apparently write any type of poem well. This collection is definitely aimed at a slightly older reader than some of his others, as it can get fairly gruesome (in a silly sort of way at least), but it's a great option for a young reader who would normally scoff at reading poetry. Each poem is fairly short, and most importantly, they're all spooky and fun. My personal favorite was "The Ghoul," but all were entertaining.
Jaimie
This collection of liightly horrific poems is a clear mimic of the genre pioneered by Edward Gorey, but it isn't quite successful. Prelutsky covers all of the typical horror creatures - from ghosts to ogres - but the poems don't really stand out. His rhymes and themes aren't as carefully wrought as Gorey's (whose immennse effort results in effortless-sounding poems), so they often sound a bit stiff and stilted. Rarely do his characters have much to distinguish them from their counterparts either ...more
Eden
I first read this nearly 3 years ago. I found it while searching my library's website for books to read for the summer reading program. I love reading poetry, I love Halloween and just creepy things in general. I thought this would at least a good read, but I ended up loving it.

I had never read or heard of Jack Prelutsky before, but after reading this, I instantly became a fan. I'm sure the book is probably considered to be for children, as his other books of poetry are, but I believe adults wou
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Michael Fitzgerald
Nicely done - but one of these goes a long way. Reading everything in the book gets a bit samey.
David
Prelutsky fans might find this one a surprise. This book really does offer up some fairly disturbing images for the young. However, I loved this book as a kid. I recently remembered the existence of this book and did a huge amount of searching to re-identify it. The pictures and words are every bit as scary as I'd remembered. The poems here don't pull any punches. I'm sort of surprised a book from my childhood was even this graphic. I'm not trying to scare anyone away from this book, but impress ...more
Selwa
This was one of my favorite books as a child (my birthday is 3 days before Halloween so the 2 were usually celebrated together, and gave me a taste for the macabre even as kid). My favorite poem (then and now) is the Ghoul, about a creature that lurks outside of schools waiting for kids to come out so he can eat them up. The illustrations are great, too! On that note, I have to add that I think the illustrated wizard, for the poem the Wizard, looks like Christopher Lee's Saruman in the Lord of t ...more
Heather
I really like Jack Prelutsky as a poet for children. That said, this book is not for young children. Some of the poems are merely spooky. Some live up to the title of the book: Nightmares. They tell grim tales of monsters that eat children--often in gory detail, so be forewarned. A better book of Halloween poems for younger children would be Jack Prelutsky's "It's Halloween."
Mrs Bond
Collection of 12 poems illuminating the creatures that lurk in the dark. Certainly a darker side of Prelutsky. Black and white sketch illustrations help convey nightmare/haunted mood of the collection. 'The Ghoul' encourages readers to stay in school - especially when they learn that this truant officer patiently waits to break them to pieces, feasting them 'with delight and ease, for every parts a treat.'
Ron.K.
This was a gift from my mother. I have always been a fan of poetry, especially short poems that are really meaningful and strong. Nightmares is a great example of how spooky -but good- poetry can be
babyhippoface
These poems are a little sophisticated, with some tough vocabulary, but read aloud in just the right creepy tone, some of them will send shivers up and down the spine.

The poem I find creepiest? "The Ghoul." Seriously. He's just waiting outside, sitting on the monkey bars, waiting for school to let out.

So he can drag you away by your hair and EAT YOU.
Robert
I purchased this book back in the mid-1990s to read to my students during October. Prelutsky is an interesting poet and I enjoy the poems just fine. Unfortunately, I have found that the poems do not go over well with my fourth graders. The language is difficult for them. In recent years I have abandoned even attempting these.
Maria
The famous Jack Prelutsky will make your skin crawl and your teeth chatter with his spooky poems about ghouls, ghosts, and goblins. One goblin waits outside a schoolyard to gobble children. A troll lives at the bottom of a pit, waiting for people to fall in. These are wonderful stories to scare your parents with!
Jill
Oct 15, 2013 Jill rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: elementary school student
Recommended to Jill by: My children's librarian
These poems are actually scary. Reading level is perfect for a 2nd/ 3rd grader. Will o the Wisp is my favorite poem because it is not as scary as the other ones. My toddler likes The Gobblin, which is find the most terrifying of them all. Really starting to LOVE Jack Prelutsky
Ashlei
Great read-aloud for the 5th and 6th graders at St. Es after scary story was over. Read them the Ogre and The Ghoul was a big hit, (he waits on the playground outside the school for kids to eat) nice and gory, and then we send them off to recess!
Beth
What a creative, dare I say beautiful collection of scary poems. I could see a student selecting one of these poems as their poetry recitation for the month of April and really getting into the performance.
Laura
The absolute best poem in this book is "The Ghoul." Wonderfully creepy and so, so fun to read aloud. Great for kids who enjoy being spooked and for the adults who enjoy spooking them.
Tracy E. Hieatt
Nov 17, 2012 Tracy E. Hieatt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children, big kids
Excellent rhyming poems. Adults will appreciate these and will give kids something to figure out. They have an old feel to them without being terribly complicated.
Kimberly
A book of scary poems with creepy pictures that go with it.
Themes -- poetry, scary things
Great poetry book for a reader not easily scared.
Melati Cita
i just love to see the illustration.. its soooo cool i think. i love that poems and i really had a sleep problem after i finished reading this book..
Cheryl
Deliciously macabre poetry that rolls off one's tongue most delightfully. Black and white pen and ink drawings were suitably scary.
Dave/Maggie Bean
I couldn't resist adding this title. It's yet another of the disturbing kiddie-books that so engrossed me during my oddball childhood.
Sherry (sethurner)
Prelutsky is great spooky fun here, scarier than you'd think. In my middle school this book wouldn't stay on the shelf.
Dalton
May 03, 2010 Dalton added it
it has many chillin stories in it and i loved almost all of them it was fun to read and im gonna try more poetry books
Gabi Silvani
it was creepy and awesome which are both technically the same thing
Dolly
Feb 10, 2015 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
new words: revenants, sombrous, smirched, roundelay
Patricia
Really good poems to enjoy around Halloween.
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Jack Prelutsky is an American poet. He attended New York public schools, and later the High School of Music and Art and Hunter College. Prelutsky, who has also worked as a busboy, furniture mover, folk singer, and cab driver, claims that he hated poetry in grade school because of the way it was taught. He is the author of more than 30 poetry collections including Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your ...more
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