Friday, October 29, 2010

All These Monster Kids' Books

Halloween has almost arrived. Since this awesome holiday is (usually) about kids, I wanted to share some great books I - and plenty of other folks - loved to read and reread as a child. These are the books that made me the diehard Halloween and horror fan I am today.

Norman Bridwell, most famous for creating Clifford the Big Red Dog, had several books of charmingly-drawn monsters. Monster Holidays (1974) and How to Care for Your Monster (1970) were the best. I mean, the monsters are adorable. Look at Dracula waving, for Chrissakes! Who would not want to open their door on Halloween night and find those folks outside?!

Another fantastically well-illustrated monster book was Movie Monsters (1975). This makeup how-to by Alan Ormsby, who had starred as the most obnoxious theater troupe leader ever in Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1973).

Bunnicula (1979)! A classic tale of a vampire rabbit. Lots of sequels apparently.

All I remember about The Mystery in Dracula's Castle (1975) is that I read it over and over and over. Don't even know if I ever saw the Disney TV movie.

Books like these, found in the kids' non-fiction section of the library, were a treasure trove of horror movie history. In the days before VCRs, much less DVDs and the internet, the only way a kid could see a lot of these movies was to read these books and imagine them in his head...The distinctive orange-spined Crestwood Series has sent many a 30-something dude scouring the net for hours trying to figure out what the heck they were called.



I don't draw like I used to as a kid, but I fondly recall these two how-to books, by illustrator stalwarts Lee J. Ames and Ed Emberley, were staples for the after-school and Saturday hours.

Hope everyone's Halloween is a delight... even if this crazy lady doesn't want you to celebrate it!

6 comments:

Joe Monster said...

HA no way. I used to devour those Crestwood books back in third grade when I was just starting to get into horror. What a trip seeing how old they actually are. No offense meant of course...

TheGirlWhoLovesHorror said...

BUNNICULA FREAKING RULES.

Rob said...

Holyyyy crap! I had a couple of those books (the first, the sixth and I think the third). Haven't thought of them in ages!

Adventures In Gay Dating said...

I had those Norman Bridwell books and loved them ! I think I read them every day for year.

Zwolf said...

Beautiful! I had How To Care for your Monster... I used to love that book. And the Ormsby book is a classic. When I first realized the connection between that book and the director of Children SHouldn't Play... and Deranged, I was psyched. :)

Cyberschizoid said...

Great selection of books! The vampire rabbit looks particularly cool. ;-)