May
05
23:00

A Halloween story so spooky it might even give mom and dad the creeps.

What There Is Before There Is Anything There by Liniers | A scary story for Halloween

As a kid who saw creatures in my bedroom shadows at night, I always identified with the protagonist of Bedtime for Frances, who saw monsters in her bathrobe and had all kinds of other excuses for not going to bed. The new scary story for Halloween that’s sending shivers up my spine, even as an adult, is What There Is Before There Is Anything There by Argentinian author/illustrator Liniers.

It’s bedtime, and the young boy in the story sees strange creatures descending into his bedroom when he turns out the light. Unlike some other kids’ books, you actually see the creatures–not just dark imaginings. Spooky.

Then, in a seriously creepy moment, a dark figure says, “I am what there is before there is anything there.”

The boy does what any kid would do–runs to his parents’ bed. But the last page is what makes this book live up to its subtitle: A Scary Story. When he’s snuggled between his parents who have rolled back to sleep, the creatures slither in again.

 

A scary story for Halloween: What There Is Before There Is Anything There book by Liniers

What There Is Before There Is Anything There: Scary book for kids

What There Is Before There Is Anything There : Creepy, scary fun for Halloween

The art in the book is playfully disturbing (is

that a thing?) yet beautiful, too. It reminds me a bit of Edward Gorey’s dark cartoons and is meant to appeal to both parents and kids. But be warned: This is not for the faint of heart. Although kids can see how the boy learns to cope with his fears, they will also recognize those fears may never go away completely.

I wouldn’t exactly call this one a reassuring bedtime story, but it’s very cool and the pictures are mesmerizing. The publishers recommend the book for ages 4-7 but I’d say that depends. Be sure your kids have a strong tolerance for scary stories–and are heavy sleepers.

You can find What There Is Before There Is Anything There by Liniers at our affiliate Amazon or your local indie bookshop.