By GLENN TOLLE
If horror films and books have taught us anything, it’s that camping is BAD. DON’T DO IT! Still, sleeping in a tent in the middle of the woods fills me with peace. In fact, when I go to sleep each night, I often pretend I’m camping as it comforts me and puts me in the headspace of sleep. This doesn’t work for everybody, though. Some people (and over imaginative felines) take the genre’s warnings more seriously.
Case in point: NIGHTY-NIGHTMARE, written by James Howe, illustrated by Leslie Morrill and published by Avon under their Camelot Book imprint in 1987, featured in this edition of FRIGHTS FOR TYKES.
In the book, the dogs Harold and Howie, along with Chester the cat, learn that they are going camping, something they have never done. And while Harold and Howie take the news with varying degrees of enthusiasm, Chester is terrified. “Didn’t those bozos ever see Friday the Thirteenth!?” he exclaims. What starts as a seemingly harmless – if poorly prepared – jaunt into the forest, turns terrifying when the Monroe family, along with their pets meet Bud and Spud, and their dog Dawg, who seem nice enough, but can they be trusted? Chester and Harold aren’t so sure. There’s something sinister about this trio…maybe the Monroe’s SHOULD have seen FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH…
NIGHTY-NIGHTMARE is a charming and chilling read that maintains the level of horror and humour characteristic of James Howe’s writing. I covered Howe before in the first edition of this column, so it was only a matter of time before I returned to him. NIGHTY-NIGHTMARE is high on my list of favourite books by the author, because it manages to colourfully elaborate on the BUNNICULA mythos. Bunnicula, in case you don’t know, is a vampiric rabbit who drains the life from produce…. It’s also the name I plan to give my first rabbit.
NIGHTY-NIGHTMARE is a must read for the tyke in your life, especially for those who like to camp and are curious as to the origins of the most famous vampire rabbit.
As my edition is hard come by, I recommend buying the most recent edition of NIGHTY-NIGHTMARE which can be purchased on AMAZON for $1.02, plus $3.96 shipping, used, in “Good” condition.
Pack this book with your sleeping bag next time you go camping and read it by a crackling campfire to the young ‘uns.