The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister

The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister

4.7 3
by Stefan Bachmann, Alexander Jansson, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand
     
 

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Welcome to The Cabinet of Curiosities

Please enter.

No, really, come in. The Curators are delighted you are here. They invite you to turn a page, pull open a drawer, peek inside a room, slither into a nook. In fact, they insist.

Sometimes visitors to the cabinet find it rewarding to dive right into the middle. You could try that. You could flip back

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Overview

Welcome to The Cabinet of Curiosities

Please enter.

No, really, come in. The Curators are delighted you are here. They invite you to turn a page, pull open a drawer, peek inside a room, slither into a nook. In fact, they insist.

Sometimes visitors to the cabinet find it rewarding to dive right into the middle. You could try that. You could flip back and forth. Start your exploration at the very end. Or the beginning.

The important thing is that you are here. Oh, do come in! The Curators guarantee you will find something . . . curious.

The Cabinet of Curiosities is a collection of eerie, mysterious, intriguing, and very short short stories presented by the cabinet's esteemed Curators, otherwise known as acclaimed authors Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, and Emma Trevayne.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
07/01/2014
Gr 5–7—Chilling, thrilling, and occasionally startlingly bleak, this collection of short stories is arranged through an ingenious conceit: the tales are housed in the imaginary cabinet of the title. The tales which live in this cabinet of the strange and sinister have been collected (written) by four different curators (authors): Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, and Emma Trevayne. Themes are introduced through letters sent back and forth between the curators, each of whom assumes a different persona, which helps build a world around the stories themselves. Fans of shivery tales will find much to appreciate here, from dolls who love their playmates a little too much to luck that comes at a high price. Taken as a whole, however, a dark, almost nihilistic feeling pervades the stories, bringing the potential audience into question. Short enough to be read aloud, the book invites comparisons to Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (HarperCollins, 1981), though readers may leave this cabinet with lingering feelings of dread, rather than the cathartic jolt of a jump scare.—Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT
Publishers Weekly
★ 05/26/2014
This collection of 36 short dark fantasies from Bachmann, Catmull, Legrand, and Trevayne aspires to sit on the same shelf as Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and succeeds admirably. The conceit is that the authors are curators of the eponymous cabinet, a magical museum that houses the often-dangerous souvenirs and stories they bring back from their Indiana Jones–like adventures. Among the many delicious tales are Bachmann's "Johnny Knockers," which concerns the fate of a whaling ship after its crew discovers a small boy inside a whale; Legrand's "Mirror, Mirror," which tells of a nasty preteen who looks into a mirror and finds more than she bargained for; Trevayne's "The Circus," the story of a traveling circus's horrifyingly bad luck; and Catmull's "Dark Valentine," which illustrates why you don't want your dead girlfriend contacting you by cellphone. Many of these are moral tales in which nasty children or adults die horribly; others, though, feature perfectly nice people who meet similarly gruesome ends. Readers who enjoy their Halloween chills all year round will find this anthology a delight. Ages 8–12. (May)
Shelf Awareness for Readers
“With school dismissed, it’s time for pure pleasure reading. . . . The Cabinet of Curiosities . . . lets readers dip in and out of 36 spine-tingling tales.”
The Horn Book
“The stories are remarkable both for their uniformly high quality and for their distinctness from one another; the abundant atmospherics, including occasional stark black-and-white illustrations, provide a unifying sense of dread.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“For readers who have gloried in and graduated from Alvin Schwartz’s collections of scary stories, the tales collected here will provide a deliciously tingly next step.…All are engagingly unsettling in some way, with a select few crossing over into genuine nightmare territory.”
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
This compilation of scary short stories is derived from the premise that “Curator Trevayne” has written a note to her fellow curators asking them to create a space, a “cabinet of curiosities,” that houses objects as well as the strange stories of their origin or power. Agreed to by the other four, the objects are further organized by themes—cake, love, tricks, travel, luck, flowers, song, and fairy tales—and the story of the curiosity is found in that manner. The various stories are short, descriptive, suspenseful, and often just plain scary. The main characters in each are young people who have either found the curiosity by accident or are given a lesson through the curiosity in question. The individual style of each author gives readers plenty of choices, and the introductory sections—shared in letter form—encourage readers to “jump in” to the text by chapter or story title. The pencil and ink illustrations throughout underscore the scary and suspenseful element. This is a fun group of short stories and could definitely inspire some great scary stories written by upper elementary and middle school students…and teachers wouldn’t have to wait for Halloween. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.; Ages 8 to 12.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-04-16
Styling themselves "curators," four of horror fantasy's newer stars share tales and correspondence related to an imaginary museum of creepy creatures and artifacts.In addition to Bachmann, the authors include Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand and Emma Trevayne. The letters, scattered throughout, record adventures in gathering the Cabinet's eldritch collections or report allusively on them: "I just let them creep or wing about the place," writes Curator Catmull, "and stretch their many, many, many legs. What jolly shouts I hear when the workers come across one!" The stories, most of which were previously published on the eponymous website, are taken from eight thematic drawers ranging from "Love" and "Tricks" to "Cake." Along with a cast of evil magicians, oversized spiders and other reliable frights, the stories throw children into sinister situations in graveyards, deceptively quiet gardens or forests, their own bedrooms and similar likely settings. Said children are seldom exposed to gory or explicit violence and, except for horrid ones who deserve what they get, generally emerge from their experiences better and wiser—or at least alive. Jansson's small black-and-white vignettes add scattered but appropriately enigmatic visual notes.A hefty sheaf of chillers—all short enough to share aloud and expertly cast to entice unwary middle graders a step or two into the shadows. (index, not seen) (Horror/short stories. 10-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062313157
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/27/2014
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
360,590
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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