The Scariest Book Ever

by Bob Shea (Author) Bob Shea (Illustrator)

The Scariest Book Ever
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Reader beware! This is the scariest book ever! Or so claims its melodramatic ghost narrator. You can go ahead and turn the page, but don't expect him to come with you. Anything might pop out of that black hole in the middle of the forest. What do you mean it's just a bunny? Well, it's probably a bunny with big fangs. Watch out, it's--picking pumpkins with its friends, you say? Actually, despite the ghost's scare-mongering, none of the animal characters in the illustrations seem scary at all. . . . What's up with that?

Many delights, such as surprises after the page turn, an alarmist narrator, and punch lines to anticipate make this book a scream for both kids and parents.

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$16.19 $17.99


The ever-popular Shea, creator of, among many others, the fierce Dinosaur vs. series, goes for smiles with a barrage of feel-good images on bright yellow backgrounds. Who can resist a dancing cake? . . . best-selling Shea is back with another jaunty picture book that is sure to be met with enthusiasm.

Publishers Weekly

Shea's ghost narrator talks a good game about being brave, but readers will see right through him--especially after he spills orange juice on himself and spends the rest of the book "naked." (In a marvelous design touch, spot gloss is used to make the ghost barely visible.) The ghost sends readers to check out the "scary dark woods" outside, which turn out to be home to a chipper rabbit who organizes a costume party. After finally venturing outdoors, the ghost gets the fright of his afterlife when he sees the partygoers in costume. "Why didn't you warn me?" he scolds readers. "Are you trying to scare me more to death?" Playing a candy colored palette against stark blacks and whites, Shea's chic, retro graphics gleefully balance fright and fun: even amid pumpkin picking, costume making, and craft projects, the forest's trees look as sharp as knives. Ages 6-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (July)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Silliness abounds in Shea's latest work. The narrator, a small ghost, doesn't want readers to go into the scary woods, because it is full of frightening things. He'd rather stay home and wash his sheet and eat doughnuts. He's skeptical when he hears about a cute bunny, cupcakes, and Halloween party but agrees to go into the woods to save readers from the super scary monsters. When he goes into the woods he is frightened away by the monsters, but then learns that it is just the animals in costume. He enjoys the joke, the party, and the cupcakes. The book is full of funny artwork with bright colors and comic characters. Children will get a laugh at the ghost's belly full of doughnuts. The realization that the ghost is essentially naked after taking off his sheet to wash will also amuse young readers. VERDICT A hilarious book that will keep the giggles coming, this will be a hit for Halloween read-alouds.—V. Lynn Christiansen, Wiley International Studies Magnet Elementary School, Raleigh, NC

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Bob Shea
Bob Shea has created many books for young people, including the popular Dinosaur vs. series, Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great, The Happiest Book Ever and The Scariest Book Ever, and the early readers featuring Ballet Cat. He has also invented stories such as Big Plans, illustrated by Lane Smith, and drawn the pictures for books such as Love, Triangle, written by Marcie Colleen. Bob used to make things for Comedy Central and PBS Kids. Now he makes things for no reason--like animations, a giant lemon head, and his basement game show, Jackpot Basement. He invites you to visit him at, and to give yourself a round of applause.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
July 20, 2017
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV002000 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | General
JUV009080 - Juvenile Fiction | Concepts | Words
Library of Congress categories
Humorous stories
Ghost stories
JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
JUVENILE FICTION / Concepts / Words
JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / General

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