Be Afraid (but not too afraid) | The Year in SLJ Covers

For our October cover on horror comics, Stephen Giplin depicted a child reading Mark Fearing's graphic novel Welcome to Feral, while the classic monsters in the bedroom look on in terror.

SLJ October 2022 cover; Be Afraid (Horror comics); Illustration by Stephen Gilpin


Reviewing art from books featured in Brigid Alverson's story about horror comics, we gravitated to the style of Stephen Gilpin, illustrator of the graphic novel Bunnicula by James Howe. Scary but not too scary, sophisticated yet cartoony, Giplin's style was just what we were looking for, says Mark Tuchman, SLJ creative director.

Giplin delivered for our October 2022 cover with this humorous illustration of a child reading Mark Fearing's Welcome to Feral, another great graphic novel on the list, while the classic monsters in the bedroom are equally freaked out by the book. So, too, the monster under the bed.

In our lead story, “Be Afraid (but not too afraid): Graphic novel horror for middle grade readers,” Giplin's interior spot art depicts characters from many of the books on the list, waiting on line to return their books at the library circulation desk.

Also in this issue:

Many Shapes and Moods of Yokai Inhabit Manga by Brigid Alverson
The supernatural creatures of Japanese lore flourish in these manga titles.

Libraries Meeting Demand for Workbooks and One-Time-Use Resources by Andrew Bauld
Writing in library books is typically against the rules, but many public libraries are stocking their collections with test prep workbooks and other materials designed to be written in.

Picture Book Creators Center Joy While Portraying Disability by Margaret Kingsbury
Normalizing physical disability can and should begin in childhood. These creators are doing just that.

Back to School Means Bullies, Too: These Recent Books are Here to Help by Kimberly Fakih
Bullies. We've gathered new books and old, in an attempt to equip children for a perennial troublemaker who, adults know, shows up outside of childhood as well




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