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Review: ‘Goosebumps: Slappy’s Tales of Horror’

This isn’t the first adaptation of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series by Graphix, but it’s been a while since they released one. So it’s not surprising that they gave it a try with the release, early this fall, of the new Goosebumps movie. While the movie may have come and gone, the books are still ever so popular (even with middle school students!).

Goosebumps: Slappy’s Tales of HorrorGoosebumps Slappy Tales
By Dave Roman, Gabriel Hernandez, Ted Naifeh, Jamie Tolagson.
Graphix, Grades 3 and up

If you notice four artists credited here, that’s because each artist adapted one of R.L. Stine’s stories. Each story has a good amount of creepiness that is heightened by the excellent artwork.

In the first story, Jamie Tolagson tells about two children sent off to try out a new ride for a studio tour. But the ride is creepy and the horrors all seem too real. Of course the twist at the end leaves you wondering, and readers might go back to re-read the story and look for clues they missed the first time.

The next story, “The Werewolf of Fever Swamp,” adapted by Gabriel Hernandez, is a bit cliché and predictable, but the artwork ramps up the creepiness factor. When a new family moves to town, they hear stories about the odd goings-on at Fever Swamp. The adults dismiss it as folklore, but the kids, they’re not so sure.

The third story is adapted by Ted Naifeh, who in my opinion is the master of gore in comics. Two sisters visit ancient cousins and end up meeting ghosts. Again the story is a bit predictable (maybe it’s because I’m getting old), but the artwork adds so much to the story that no one will care that they figured it out.

And finally, the title story is adapted by Dave Roman. “Night of the Living Dummy” is about twin sisters who fight over a dummy (doll) that they find. They fight so much their mother gets a second one, but it turns out the second doll is alive and evil. Again, readers will love the twists and turns and the artwork that will just leave them unnerved.

All in all, this is a fine book to add to a graphic novel collection. Young readers seeking out spooky stories will certainly get their share. They’ll love the full-color illustrations. And some of them might want to leave their lights one when they go to sleep at night.

This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Graphix.

Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.

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