I Want To Be in a Scary Story

illus. by Jean Jullien. 32p. Candlewick. Jul. 2017. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763689537.
PreS-Gr 1—A conversation between Little Monster and an unseen narrator plays out through a series of alternating visual spreads. Initially, the purple monster is positioned on a solid white background. As the narrator begins telling a story, the monster enters the scene like a movie backdrop. As details about the tale change, the monster goes in and out of the scene as it shifts. Capturing the exact teetering feeling of a child who wants to be adventurous, Little Monster is simultaneously thrilled and afraid. The narrator asks, "Is that too scary?" "Just a little!" answers Little Monster. Eventually he decides that he wants to do the scaring, taking control of the narrative and turning it around. The digital illustrations look as though they were created with markers, making them well suited to the idea of a child coming up with ideas. The interactive nature of the text invites readers to imagine their own versions and how they would respond given the monster's choices.
VERDICT A fun premise, imaginative book design, and appealing illustrations make this book a terrific choice for spooky-themed storytimes.

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