By GLENN TOLLE
Like many kids, when I was young, I had an irrational fear that I’d wake up one night and my parents would be gone, leaving me to face all the other fears I harboured alone. As I grew older, I eventually grew out of that fear and most of the things that frightened me as a kid: ghosts and goblins, creaks and groans in the night, none of those things, which would have sent me flying into my parents arms, frighten me now. Instead, they fascinate me. I think part of the reason I’m a horror fan is because of these childhood fears. One of the reasons I write this column is in the hopes that it will help me understand what frightened me as a kid and the book I’m covering in this edition of FRIGHTS FOR TYKES is quite revealing in this regard.
The book is GHOST’S HOUR, SPOOK’S HOUR written by acclaimed children’s author Eve Bunting and illustrated by Donald Carrick, first published in 1989 by HMH BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS. The tale follows a young boy as he explores his dark and creepy home late at night with his dog Biff. He’s looking for his parents, but he can’t find them. He’s afraid of the sounds his house makes and imagines what they could really be. With each page the boy gets increasingly frightened; it appears that his parents really are missing, and they have left him alone to face his growing fears.
GHOST’S HOUR, SPOOK’S HOUR is a wonderful look into the common fear of abandonment and what follows after. In many ways it’s a hero’s journey – the young boy perseveres, pushing through the dark halls of his house without his parents. He faces the monsters that frighten him and eventually finds what he is looking for.
If you have a child that is frightened of monsters or of being left alone, I recommend you read them this book. It might spook them, but it also might relieve some of their fears and show them that they’re braver than they think.
My edition of GHOST’S HOUR, SPOOK’S HOUR can be purchased on AMAZON for $4.99, plus free shipping, “Used”, in “Good” condition.