Teenagers looking for macabre stories that have a slight touch of humor may find what they want in this rather uneven collection of 15 tales. The common theme is baby-sitting, and the stories depict bizarre and bloody happenings that occur when someone is responsible for children, pets, or houses. Some of the tales are truly terrifying, but others are totally unbelievable, despite the author's note insisting that they are true.
Despite the subtitle"Fifteen Baby-Sitting Tales of Terror"most of the stories in this surprisingly uneven collection from Gorog (Please Do Not Touch, 1993, etc.) have a lot more baby-sitting than terror; one, "The Three Brothers," is more silly than scary, and another, "Sit," has nothing to do with baby-sitting. A few do rise above mediocrity, however. "The Snooping Sitter" is done in by her nosiness when she opens a closet door to find out a family's secrets. Sasha, in "Doglicks," is scared of baby-sitting until she gets a job at the home of a family with a wonderful golden retriever. In "A Small Child and a Large Sitter," little Caroline Louise Emily Beth gets a wonderful (and slimy) revenge on her unpleasant sitter. The best story of the lot is "Toads and Slime," a humorous parody of all those fairy tales in which someone is cursed before finding true love. The rest of the tales are either weak or, in some cases, incomplete; the book's striking cover art will pull in the unsuspecting.