The Fun Book of Scary Stuff by Emily Jenkins, pictures by Hyewon Yum

Published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers

Summary: A boy makes a list of his fears: monsters, ghosts, witches, and trolls. While reluctant to tell them to his two dogs at first, eventually he shares them one by one. For each, one of the dogs attempts to debunk the fear (ghosts are scared of dogs; how bad can witches be if they’re cooking food in their cauldron?). Eventually, the boy moves beyond his list to his cousin, the school crossing guard, and the ultimate: the dark. Even the dogs are afraid of the dark, but the boy reassures them and finds a simple solution for handling that fear. In the end, the list is put to rest, and everyone goes off for a dog biscuit or two. Ages 3-7.

Pros: Readers will relate to many of these fears, and appreciate the light-hearted ways they are dealt with. Most of the story is told in appealing cartoon-bubble dialog.

Cons: Despite the dog’s claims, I’m pretty sure trolls do exist.

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