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Spooky ABC [Hardcover]

Eve Merriam , Lane Smith
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 1 2002

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 readers young and old. Now it's been 'spooked up,' so a whole new generation of youngsters can relish this voyage through the alphabet!

But beware! The T is for TRAP, so read with care!


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Product Details


Product Description

From Amazon

Poet Eve Merriam and Caldecott Honor artist Lane Smith have mastered creepy. In 1987, they first created the award-winning Halloween ABC, and this deliciously sinister collection of poems and paintings has been redesigned by Molly Leach, digitally corrected, "spooked up," and rereleased as Spooky ABC. Smith first completed the project as a wordless picture book, depicting the 26 letters of the alphabet and their Halloweenish symbols... C for cat, for example. When Macmillan decided the book needed powerful words to accompany the dramatic paintings, they signed on poet Eve Merriam. In the bookmaking process, some of Merriam's choices for poem subjects trumped Smith's original illustrations--"vampire" became "viper," "yeti" became "yeast," "tree" became "trap," and "cat" became "crawler." "Invisible" disappeared into "icicle." At the end of this 2002 edition is a fascinating recap of "the awful truth behind the making of Spooky ABC" as well as a glimpse at Smith's wonderful "lost" paintings.

"A is for apple" sounds friendly enough, until you see the creepy claw that holds the fruit above the flames and the words, "Delicious, / malicious; / one bite and / you're dead." B is for bat, as you might suspect, C is for crawler, D for demon... X for xylophone ("bones to clang / bones to bang"), Y for yeast ("rise rise / seethe spread / fuss fume / foam spume"), Z is for zero ("Nothing but hollow / holes for eyes"). The poems, from A to Z, are often chilling, and do not shy away from the darkest corners of human fears. They are also brilliant and rhythmic, as shown in "Mask:" "Guises, disguises, / all kinds of surprises: / A peasant's a king, / a king's a knave, / a knave's a donkey, / a donkey's a slave" or in "Nightmare:" "Nay nay nay / never get away / writhing writhing / in woe woe woe / too late to tell/ friend from foe." Smith's paintings are gorgeous, moody, dark, but not without whimsy. Together, this creative team has produced a macabre masterpiece to be treasured every Halloween or full moon. (Ages 8 and older, not for the faint of heart!) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

Designed to shiver the timbers of youngsters all year round, the previously published Halloween ABC (1987) is now Spooky ABC by Eve Merriam, illus. by Lane Smith. The handsome edition pits 26 alphabetically organized poems-"Demon" and "Lair" among them-against eerie illustrations. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Collecting Books Oct. 26 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
As a big fan of Lane Smith's work, I was instantly attracted to this book. A collector of Halloween picture books, I knew that this book would be a frightfully, wonderful addtion to my collection. The illustrations of this book set the right eerie tone for Halloween. Eve Merriam's poems are wonderfully sinister! I am a 6th grade teacher and will definitely read some of the poems to my class during Halloween week, however I would not recommend this book for young children. The tone of the book is not just scary but sinister, the letter D for instance should never be read aloud to students. It speaks of the demonic characters Beezlebub and Satan. The illustration is wonderful but the words are not appropriate for students. The other letters are not as evil but still conjure up creepy thoughts about Halloween. This is a wonderful addition to a Halloween collection that will be kept on my personal shelf for me to read aloud.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Spooky Alphabet Book..... Oct. 22 2002
Format:Hardcover
Poet, Eve Merriam, and award winning illustrator, Lane Smith are back with a new "spooked-up" addition of their 1987 stunner, Halloween ABC. Step carefully through this alphabetical collection, if you dare, and read each bone chilling poem. From apples, bats, demons, and ghosts, to nightmares, skeletons, vipers, and witchery, Ms Merriam's rhythmic, rhyming poems are filled with macabre imagery and dark magic that are sure to set your knees knocking, and make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Mr Smith's brilliantly detailed, dark and somber artwork, has been digitally redesigned by Molly Leach, and kids will be mesmerized with each page turn. Perfect for Halloween, or any other terror-packed, moonless night, Spooky ABC is a timeless masterpiece to read aloud and share with friends and family now, and future generations in the years to come.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Great creepy book Oct. 19 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I don't know which I like better, the frightening poems or ghoulish artwork, but both come together magically to make this a great Halloween book. Would not recommend for children under 6, but older children will get a reak kick out of it. Very unique and I think will be a classic.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very dull and boring Nov. 11 2002
Format:Hardcover
This book was not for a young child to read. Do not recommend at all.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great creepy book Oct. 19 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I don't know which I like better, the frightening poems or ghoulish artwork, but both come together magically to make this a great Halloween book. Would not recommend for children under 6, but older children will get a reak kick out of it. Very unique and I think will be a classic.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Collecting Books Oct. 26 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As a big fan of Lane Smith's work, I was instantly attracted to this book. A collector of Halloween picture books, I knew that this book would be a frightfully, wonderful addtion to my collection. The illustrations of this book set the right eerie tone for Halloween. Eve Merriam's poems are wonderfully sinister! I am a 6th grade teacher and will definitely read some of the poems to my class during Halloween week, however I would not recommend this book for young children. The tone of the book is not just scary but sinister, the letter D for instance should never be read aloud to students. It speaks of the demonic characters Beezlebub and Satan. The illustration is wonderful but the words are not appropriate for students. The other letters are not as evil but still conjure up creepy thoughts about Halloween. This is a wonderful addition to a Halloween collection that will be kept on my personal shelf for me to read aloud.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spooky Alphabet Book..... Oct. 22 2002
By Roz Levine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Poet, Eve Merriam, and award winning illustrator, Lane Smith are back with a new "spooked-up" addition of their 1987 stunner, Halloween ABC. Step carefully through this alphabetical collection, if you dare, and read each bone chilling poem. From apples, bats, demons, and ghosts, to nightmares, skeletons, vipers, and witchery, Ms Merriam's rhythmic, rhyming poems are filled with macabre imagery and dark magic that are sure to set your knees knocking, and make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Mr Smith's brilliantly detailed, dark and somber artwork, has been digitally redesigned by Molly Leach, and kids will be mesmerized with each page turn. Perfect for Halloween, or any other terror-packed, moonless night, Spooky ABC is a timeless masterpiece to read aloud and share with friends and family now, and future generations in the years to come.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars completely inappropriate Aug. 2 2007
By Furious Kitty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This ABC book goes through the alphabet with a little word & poem for each letter. The gimmick is that these are all spooky words. The book is recommended for ages 5+, though I think Amazon has it as 4+. Either way, I think it's completely inappropriate for any child under 6 unless you want your curious preschooler to ask for explanations of death, demons & Satan (& his various monikers -- the book is quite thorough). Then there's the little ditty of someone being stabbed with an icicle. Frankly I'm quite incensed over this book. The artwork is pretty nice but I really don't need my sensitive & overly imaginative 4-year old waking up with nightmares. I'm sure older children who love the macabre would totally dig it though.
2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very dull and boring Nov. 11 2002
By Electrojunkie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was not for a young child to read. Do not recommend at all.
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