Monday, July 21, 2014

More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

The second book in the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series was the appropriately titled "More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark".  Once more, writer Alvin Schwartz and illustrator Stephen Gammell joined forces to scare the ever living daylights out of young children everywhere.  

This entry in the series is in the forefront of my memory for some reason.  I'm not sure that the stories were any more frightening than those found in the previous collection.  However, there were a few that struck a chord with me and lingered in my mind as I struggled to find sleep with the covers pulled over my head.   Particularly memorable tales from this collection include "The Window", "The Voice", and "Sounds" - all of which were stories that involved characters laying in bed or attempting to sleep as terror strikes!  

As always, Gammell's artwork left the biggest impression.  In my opinion, this collection is the best of his work for the whole series with his trademark monochromatic drawings seeming to be more polished and deliberate in this collection. 

While many of the illustrations in the first book were literal translations of Schwartz's descriptions found in the text, this time around Gammell seems to make a more abstract effort on several of the stories.  The illustration for "Oh Susannah!" is a perfect example as the fever dream of an image presented by Gammell appears to have nothing to do with text.  As a child, I was convinced that the publisher had made some mistake!  The incongruity makes the story all the more upsetting.  Looking back now, I have to wonder if that was the point!

Sweet dreams!!!

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