by Hal Johnson, illustrated by Tom Mead
First sentence: “While he lived, Paul Bunyan served as the master of the Michigan lumberwoods; since his death, its only master has been the hodag.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Content: It’s purportedly scary, but it’s really not. Some of the illustrations might be disturbing for younger readers, however. It’s in the middle grade (grades 3-5) section of the bookstore.
There’s not really a plot to summarize in this one; it’s a collection of tall tales about mythical/made-up beasts designed to scare you. It’s not really that scary, at least for an adult. The tales are simple and sometimes spooky (I could see reading these aloud, after dark, by firelight). But what I really loved was the presentation of the book. It’s gorgeously illustrated with black-and-white line drawings of the creatures, with some bonus glow-in-the-dark pages. I spent a good while just looking at the illustrations. Additionally, the some parts of the text were set apart in a different font, just adding to the overall look.
It is an impressive package, even if the stories didn’t affect me the way they were supposed to.
(Just for the record: because this is a Cybils nominee, I’ve been asked to make sure y’all know this is my opinion only, and not that of the panel.)