The Art of Darkness

Gothy Kids’ Books

June 24th, 2009 by Cobwebs

BunniculaI recently ran across the Romanti-Goth Coloring Book (A is for Absinthe, F is for Fishnets…) and Baby’s First Mythos and was inspired to put together a list of amusingly gothy books that might appeal to children. (I can vouch for most of these personally, as they’ve already been run past the Shadowspawn.)

For very young kids, try:

Halloween Countdown – A great way to teach small children their numbers: A boy with a houseful of whimsical ghosts counts them down from 10 to 1.

Mommy? – A little boy wanders through a haunted house, looking for his mommy. Rather than being frightened by the monsters he encounters, he bests them all in amusing ways.

Bats at the Beach and its sequel Bats at the Library – Cute little bats cavort in the moonlight and engage in human activities that will tickle small kids.

Beneath the Ghost Moon – A beautifully illustrated poem by SF/fantasy author Jane Yolen about mice whose costume ball is disrupted by “Crawlies.”

Goodnight Goon – A parody of the old standard “Goodnight Moon,” this involves a little werewolf getting ready for bed in his haunted castle.

There’s a Nightmare in my Closet – A little boy decides to stand up to the thing in his closet, which turns out to be frightened of him.

Bunnicula – Slightly longer than the ones mentioned above (and a proper story instead of a picture book), this classic involves a dog and cat’s quest to unmask the family’s new pet bunny as a vampire.

The slightly older set might enjoy:

Halloween ABC – Despite the title, the illustrations in this are a little too nightmarish to actually teach very young children the alphabet. It’s a great book for older kids who like slightly gruesome humor. The illustrations are gorgeous; I keep wanting to cut the book apart and frame the pages.

How to Care for Your Monster and its sequel Monster Holidays – Advice on the care and feeding of a variety of monster “pets,” such as vampires, werewolves, and mummies.

Scary: A Book of Horrible Things for Kids – This is a nonfiction book about all sorts of spooky and horrible things, broken into short, easily-digestible bits.

Vampyre – A lavishly illustrated, interactive “journal” of accidental vampire hunter Dr. Cornelius Van Helsing.

The Secret of the Seven Crows – Strange and gothic happenings at an old Gulf Coast mansion as a group of kids try to solve an old mystery.

The Discontented Ghost – A retelling of Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost” from the ghost’s point of view.

The House with a Clock in its Walls – A classic. Lewis Barnavelt moves in with his uncle (who happens to be a wizard), accidentally awakens the dead on Halloween night, and soon discovers an evil plan to bring about Doomsday. Illustrated by Edward Gorey for extra awesomeness. (There are several sequels, including The Figure in the Shadows and The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring, but they aren’t quite as good as the originals.)

Bonus Links: For new moms, check out Baby’s First Tattoo and The Inappropriate Baby Book. Where were these when Shadowboy was born?

Posted in Bittens | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. Melissa Says:

    I just wanted to comment that there is at least one sequel to Bunnicula maybe two. They’re all fun reads. Also theres a book called “The Plucker” by a man just called Brom that is incredible but definitely for the older crowd as it is a little bit graphic. Just thought I’d share these with you. Thanks for the fun post!

  2. Pam Says:

    Matthew loved Bunnicula…and the sequel…I’m not sure if he read 2 or 3, but he loved them.

  3. Maven Says:

    Bunnicula’s sequels are The _Celery Stalks at Midnight_, _Howliday Inn_, Bunnicula meets Edgar Allen Crow_, Bunnicula Strikes Again_, _Nighty-Nightmare_,_It Came From Beneath The Bed_, and _Return to Howladay Inn_, and a few “ready to read” titles.

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