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The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  866 ratings  ·  174 reviews
A collection of thirty-six eerie, mysterious, intriguing, and very short short stories presented by the cabinet’s esteemed curators, otherwise known as acclaimed authors Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire LeGrand, and Emma Trevayne. Perfect for fans of Alvin Schwartz and anyone who relishes a good creepy read-alone or read-aloud story. Features an introduction and ...more
ebook, 496 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Greenwillow Books
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  866 ratings  ·  174 reviews

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Claire Legrand
Oct 10, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Well, obviously I think this book is great--and I'm SUPER proud of my fellow Curators Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, and Emma Trevayne. They are such staggeringly talented writers, and it is a privilege to work with them. <3 We all hope you enjoy!
Faye, la Patata
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received a sneak copy thingie from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest sneakpeak review.

I wanted to read this one because I kinda like Middle Grade/Horror anthologies, and this one, despite it only showcasing 3-4 stories, did not disappoint. For some reason, I liked the little that I've seen way better than the Young Adult ones I've read recently. Perhaps it's the fact that the protagonists (or antagonists?) are children... that they are narrated by children and they themselves experience horr
Elaine Fultz
Aug 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
“And sometimes inane,” should be added to the parenthetical title of this promising short story collection which completely bungles its potential. The framework to the stories is supposed to be our authors risking life, limb and sanity to collect oddments and the resulting tales of their quests. But some stories only slightly relate to this theme and some not at all. The disconnection doesn’t make them bad stories, necessarily (some of them are actually very badly written), but its failed founda ...more
Shanshad Whelan
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review originally posted at Views From the Tesseract:

Ready to be chilled, thrilled and left a little uneasy about the dark? Four talented authors and one atmospheric illustrator combine their talents to produce a collection that will do just that.

Anthologies of short stories in children’s fiction are not all that commonplace. While back a few decades ago there seemed to be dozens of them, in the past ten years the number of anthologies seems to have dwind
I received a sneak peek copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I love spooky middle grade stories. When I saw this, I immediately got intrigued (I mean, look at that cover!) and the contributing authors are all well known. I definitely am glad I got to peek into this book. I wish all 36 tales would've been included in the ARC, but I definitely will be buying a copy when it's released.

The main reason I loved this was because of how scary it is. I know scary isn't
Natalie Diller
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was very good. It took a few days if only because I was sick and couldn't read it all the time. The stories themselves were amazing though some I don't see how they fit into the category they were given. Like in the first 'drawer' I don't see how the last two stories had to do with cake. Overall, it was pretty great.

Word of advice: do not read before you sleep, especially if you scare easily.
Hannah Rae
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like a 3.5.

I’m not usually someone who reads a whole book of short stories all at once, but this book kept my interest. Some of the stories were really fun and weird. Others could have used a bit more editing. Like, for example, in “The Sandman Cometh,” the main character is interchangeably called Harvey and Henry. I think the author must have originally opted for Henry, later switched to Harvey, and neglected to go back and make all of the necessary changes. I thought that was a bit odd.

Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thirty-Six Clever Stories
Have you ever wanted to read a novel where many different worlds consisted in a single well written book? In the story “The Cabinet of Curiosities”, you will read 36 tales about cake, love, luck, tricks, flowers, travel, song, and fairytales. Most of these stories convey a theme of being thoughtful of one's’ actions, because they will hurt many if selfishness occurs. In one story called “A Cake Made Out of Teeth”, a very self-entitled and bratty boy wants a different cak
Sierra S.
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books because of the suspense in every page. I could not put this book down. Story after story they amazed me and creeped me out at the same time. Every story was just as great as the last. The Cabinet of Curiosities has 36 short stories, with many different topics and settings. Each story introduced new characters and themes.
Some of my favorite stories were Dark Valentine, Footprints, The Tin Man's Price, Johnny Knockers, Just a Little Graveyard Game, Quicksilver an
Ginny Kaczmarek
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ostensibly a collection of middle-grade stories, neither of my middle-grade readers wanted to hear about “The Cake Made Out of Teeth” or “Just a Little Graveyard Game.” These very short stories are truly creepy and weird, definitely not for sensitive readers (not all of the kid-characters make it out alive!).

And yet there’s such a gleefully macabre quality to the stories, which are lush and disturbing in the ways of old fairy tales. In “Johnny Knockers,” a boy found inside a whale brings great l
Overall, I enjoyed this! I liked how short each of the stories was. I think that's probably the right choice for horror. Just enough to freak you out. (Okay, they mostly weren't too scary for me, but I'm all grown up and stuff.)

I do think the book was maybe a little too long. Maybe something like 20 ot 25 stories would've been better?
Some of those tales are very dark for middle grade stories/book. I love when authors go for the horror genres written for kids, but some were limit to young reader. Anyway, those stories have all (or mostly) one good thing, the idea behind them is most of the time very good (crazy ideas!!), but the problem was that they were not poorly, but not well either, written (but its middle-grade so part of it is understandable) and (and this is the main problem) rapidly forgettable. You finish one and yo ...more
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, 2019
DNF at 42%
This book stressed the crap out of me.. I enjoyed some of the ideas here but nothing felt complete
Once i start feeling something for a story it ENDS. Leaving me feeling furious.
If the book had less number of stories and the authors focused on them with building more and give the story a chance to develop i think it would have been a lot better..
Sarah Clapp-Work
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a good book to read in electronic format. The stories are easily picked up when you need to fill a moment and easily left until needed again. Additionally this book would make an interesting companion to an adolescent sleepover. The stories in this collection are equal parts creepy, terrifying, and spooky and would make the young or the young at heart wonder what goes bump in the night.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Solids three stars. I really enjoyed a lot of these stories, while some were just alright.
Jun 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I appreciate the thought and work that went into this, and think it'll be a great book for my daughter, but it didn't work for me all that much.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
I would have liked these stories more if I had read them with a month or two between them. That way I'd forget the plot of the first one before I read the next one. As it was, I read the book over a couple of days and realized the same thing kept happening in most of the stories. Strange things happen, a person sees the cause of the strange thing (fairies, a walnut-headed "thing", a dead person, etc.), and the person who saw it dies,or exchanges bodies with the thing, or disappears. I wanted to ...more
((Silver O. Smith -  "Regimes fall every day. I tend not to weep over that, I'm Russian, or I was." - Black Widow))

This whole book is amazing. The letters describing where they went and exactly how much danger they were in was fantastic. The stories were wonderful. Even after I thought I was used to it, they caught me by surprise and sometimes made me want to puke. In an good way!!!!!!

The best story had to be Sandman Cometh. That was brilliant. I loved it soo much I wish it was a whole book by itself.

And not only did I find Sandman here but Dudley and Pitch Black the Bogeyman. Pitch showed up in Jack's Shad
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm hoping to finish this book at some point. But my daughter has absconded with my Kindle and I don't hold out much hope. She started reading one of the stories over my shoulder and then kept reading, and reading, through most of a 5 hour car trip. She loves "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark", and this one seems to have captivated her in the same way. Now I need to get a physical copy for her. This one seems destined to be passed around at school, and read to each other on camp outs.

There are
Lovers of ghost stories and dark tales will have a feast day (or two!) with The Cabinet of Curiosities. The stories are short and have a classic ghost-story-around-the-fire feel to them. Their mysteriousness gives them a natural tension that plays on classic fears. The collection is structured so that you can pick and choose stories or read them as a "cabinet."

There's more to our review. Visit the the Reading Tub website to see why we recommend this book. You can add your review, too.
Nick Scott
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this collection of creepy short stories often based around items or creatures found in the "Cabinet of Curiosities", a museum of weird and occult items in a hot air balloon. Just like any short story anthology, I liked some stories more than others. I tended to find Claire LeGrand's stories a notch or so above the rest, but there weren't any that I would consider "bad." The whole thing is cleverly framed with letters between the 4 authors, or curators, as they call themselves.

The book
Mar 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: edw-arc, 2014
Well this will cause some kiddie nightmares. In fact, reading this dredged up some remnants of my own childhood nightmares. These short stories are just the right length, perfect for bedtime. You can crawl into bed tired and still be able to read a story before dropping off to sleep...(cackle, cackle, evil laugh) you're really going to drop off to sleep after reading one of these...
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so creepy -- but also so CLEVER and FULL OF ADVENTURE, and some of the tales were also full of HOPE (in an odd way sometimes); and the extra bits (acknowledgments and "letters" and such) were JUST AS ENTERTAINING as the stories themselves!

I come away from this read wanting to join the dangerous society of the Curators. XD
Katie (Kitkatscanread)
Although I only read a sneak peak into the actual novel itself, I found the few stories very creepy.
People who are into eerie stories & fairy tales would like this.
I really want to read the other stories to see what happens next.
All the authors did a great job in working together to get the creepy factor rolling.
Feb 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
I'm sure others would like it, but it wasn't for me. Not all of the stories were one star, some were quite good. But for the most part, not to my taste. Additionally, it was shelves in young readers in my library. I would quite solidly place this on YA. Many themes and subject matters were inappropriate for younger children.
Bluerose's  Heart
Jan 06, 2014 marked it as to-read
I got to read a "sneak peek" of this book through Edelwiess, and(Lord willing) I'll definitely be checking out the full version! The sneak peek had a story from each of the four authors. The pictures made me think of Tim Burton(definite brownie points, there!), and the stories had a "Goosebumps" feel to them. Very, very weird! And, dark! I can't wait to see the rest!
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this collection of creepy stories, geared more towards the middle school reader, but even adults would get a kick out of! Pretty SPOOKY :D
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a wonderful, collection of weird little stories. They weren't all great but the ones less liked were evenly scattered. Overall I'm really glad I picked this up.
Liv Grey
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you enjoy creepy short story collections then I think I might have found the perfect book for you. (Maybe this could be your Halloween read!) What makes this collection even more interesting is that it was compiled by 4 different children's authors. Claire Legrand, Emma Trevayne, Katherine Catmull, and Stefan Bachmann banded together to write The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister (the Internet has 36 and 40 which is thoroughly confusing even though I've read the book). Thi ...more
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Stefan Bachmann was born in Colorado and spent of most of his childhood in Switzerland, where he graduated from the Zürich University of Arts with degrees in musical composition and theory. He's lived in Tokyo and Prague, and now lives and works in Berlin.

He's the author of several books for Greenwillow/HarperCollins, including his debut, THE PECULIAR, which was an international bestseller, a New
“perfectly ordinary things turned eerie and strange.” 1 likes
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