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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Nightmares!" by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

nightmares_612x920At some point in our childhood most of us have found ourselves cowering under the covers because we knew something was lurking in the dark corners of our bedroom. Is that shadow on the wall just from the tree outside the window or is it something far more nefarious? Could that dark lump by the dresser be merely a chair or could it be a goblin looking for a late night snack?

 Like many kids I had an over active imaginations and so many nights found me nestled safely between my parents in their bed because I was sure a ghost or witch was lurking in my closet (This could explain why I was the last child in our family), but what if there was no safe haven and you had to face those terrors alone? This is the subject matter Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller’s tackle with their book Nightmares! As our young protagonist Charlie Laid finds himself with a few problems:

1. His dad married a woman he is sure MOONLIGHTS AS A WITCH.
2. He had to move into her purple mansion, which is NOT A PLACE YOU WANT TO BE AFTER DARK.
3. He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a NIGHTMARISH PROSPECT.


Whenever Charlie succumbs to sleep he finds himself in nightmarish world where a witch and her cat debate over eating his toes and how they will cook his little brother, but what is more frightening is he believes that his Stepmonster is involved and that the terrors of the nightmares could be crossing over into the waking world.


This book is not just a fright filled children’s story, though it certainly is that, but it beautifully tackles such subjects as loss, change, personal courage and responsibility. By the end of the book I was greatly moved by how well such matters were addressed and can see this book being used to help children going through similar tough times.  Humor and monsters can some times be just what the doctor ordered.
The book is marvellously illustrated by Karl Kwasny in a style reminiscent of the great Charles Addams and perfectly captures the text and feel of this genre.


Originally written by Segel years ago, based on his night terrors he had as a child, he first published it as a script but as the years went by he eventually was able to get it back and then teamed up with respected children’s author Kristen Miller who he knew could help crack the prose, and thus we now have this first installment of what looks to be an excellent trilogy.

Child or adult I can highly recommend this book to you.

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