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Produced by Sean o huigin
Brampton (Ont.), Mhic Productions, 1992. Audiocassette, 30:00 min., $9.99 (plus $2.50 for shipping and handling). Distributed by Mhic Productions, P.O. Box 176, Brampton, Ont. L6V 2L1. Scary Poems for Rotten Kids reviewed vol. XVII/1 January 1989, p. 18.

Reviewed by Maryleah Otto

Volume 20 Number 4
1992 September

Are you afraid of the big bad wolf? No? Of ghosties and ghoulies? No? Of things that go bump in the night? No? Well then, relax. Scary Poems won't send any chills down your spine, even if you are a rotten kid! But they will give you half an hour of marvellous entertainment. And maybe even a delicious shudder or two!

So--if you have a taste for wet slimy worms (and I've yet to meet a child who hasn't), spiders and snakes and toads in your cereal, man-eating tweety birds, icky gooey boneless bodies, acid rain that eats your ears off, fog-shrouded carnivorous monsters on the prowl for unwary priests, gerbelgeks that bite your bum while you sleep, goblins in old dark caves, and cold creepy-crawlies with hairy legs and faces of warty goo that snack on boiled noses‹if this is your cup of brew, then turn out the lights, lock your door, pull the covers over your head, and get ready for the goosebumps!

Considering what children can watch and hear on TV, it's hard to see why the tape carries the warning, "For ages 10 and over. Parental discretion for younger." Unless the producers were required to do so by law, I think this is only a bit of promotional hype.

o huigin recites several of the poems himself. Dianne Ronald and Chiyoko Szlavnics, both young Canadian women with considerable musical experience in rock, pop, jazz and classical fields, also tell or sing the poems and provide appropriate spooky sound effects.

Technically, the recording is good. Occasionally, it's hard to catch all the words, but this is because of the "scary" voices that the speakers are using.

Afterthought: on second listening, I think I'll ask my six-year-old neighbour to hold my hand if I play this tape again. Boo! Gotcha!

Kindergarten to Grade 6 / Ages 5 to 13 (And for stout-hearted adults)

Maryleah Otto is a reference librarian at St. Thomas Public Library in St. Thomas, Ontario.

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