The Horror Handbook
If you are a fan of ghosts, ghouls, vampires werewolves and witches, The Horror Handbook will give you the inside story of where many of them come from, where they go and what makes them tick.
The Horror Handbook is meant as a fun collection of anecdotes, illustrated in a light-hearted and light-handed way by the very talented Axel Scheffler, best-known for his popular monster creation The Gruffalo. The illustrations and tone of the book are clearly aimed at young children and the author Paul van Loon has already been successful with a series for young readers called Alfie the Werewolf which features a creature of the night who is just turning seven.
Originally published over twenty years ago, and therefore before some of the very popular teen vampire films and TV series that many readers will know, the handbook is a little behind the times regarding some of the so-called facts about these monsters. The problem is, many young readers will be more familiar with vampires, werewolves and the like from films rather than from stories and what they have seen on the screen won’t always agree with the old legends that Paul van Loon refers to. But, for fans of scary stories, this may not matter at all, and The Horror Handbook is full of enough tips and trivia to keep the horror fan trembling long after the last unknown bump has rattled into the night.
A word of caution, however: in the second-last chapter, van Loon provides a list of films to keep the shivers going; some of those (think Silence of the Lambs) are for much older readers than the book’s target audience.