Recovering goth or still wearing full corpse paint to the soft play on Saturday mornings? We know how tedious children's taste in literature can be so here's 5 examples of creepy books that will please even the darkest hearted parents out there...
1. The Dark by Lemeny Snicket
Lemeny Snicket might sound like an old time writer from the past along with the likes of Dr. Seuss, but he’s very much of our time. The 49 year old writer has penned a number of classic children's book which have been made in to Hollywood blockbusters but here he dabbles in a shorter form of book to brilliant effect. The Dark is a fantastically creepy book about a young child’s fear of the.. well... dark. Buy it here!
2. I Want My Hat Back – Jay Klassen
A Bear sets out on a journey to find his missing hat. During his hunt he asks various animals if they have seen his hat. They all say no but one is full of deceit. Can we possibly remember who the master criminal is with a description of the hat? The rather sinister subtext of this book, which younger children may (hopefully) miss, is a grizzly murder. Justice is served vigilante style in this dry and witty book. And of course, excellent illustration from the great Jay Klassen. But it here!
3. Orion and Dark – Emma Yarlett
Again, the dark is prime material for a sinister children's book and exploited here to great effect. Orion is scared of everything - popping balloons, monsters, haircuts but it is the fear of the dark that consumes him the most. But upon losing his patience with his phobia and giving the dark a ruddy good rollocking, the dark appears and takes Orion on journey to find the root of his fear. Buy it here!
4. The Wolves in the Wall by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman, yes, he of 2000AD, American Gods, Good Omens and many other very adult themed comics and novels. But here he turns his macabre style to an awfully sinister children's picture book and the illustration in this book are marvellous and unlike most other modern children's book. The wolves in the wall are the nemesis of young Lucy who despite her parents ignorance knows they are there and when they escape she single handedly removes them from the house. Buy it here!
5. What There Is Before There Is Anything There A Scary Story by Liniers
If that title doesn't give every 30+ adult an existential crisis they clearly have better medication than me. An Argentinian illustrator and author, Liniers, creates powerful stories with awesome drawing and dark narratives. Another book that focuses on a young child's fear of the dark, What There Is Before There Is Anything There, is a Spanish language book translated into English. Undoubtedly honest, this book doesn't teach a child to conquer a fear of the dark (because, ya know, even as an adult, no one likes walking home in the dark) but how to cope with it. Buy it here!