Creepy Carrots - Silly Scary Picture Book

Creepy Carrots - Picture Book Cover
Simon & Schuster

Summary of Creepy Carrots

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds is the book you need if you are looking for a picture book for younger kids that's more silly scary than seriously scary, . It's a great read aloud and the black and orange illustrations by Peter Brown add greatly to the fearsome fun. While it's not s Halloween book, Creepy Carrots! is a good book to share at Halloween time, especially if you are looking for one without ghosts, zombies, monsters or other scary creatures.

The Story and Illustrations

Jasper Rabbit loves carrots. He eats them morning, noon and night. He always gets them from Crackenhopper Field because they are not only free to anyone who wants to take some, but Jasper thinks they are the best carrots to be found because they are big and crisp. On his way to school, Jasper likes to stop at the field, yank some carrots and eat them. He'does the same thing after school and in the evening. He just loves carrots!

However, one day the carrots start following Jasper Rabbit or at least, he thinks they are First, he hears the "soft...sinister...tunktunktunk of carrots creeping." Although he doesn't see any creepy carrots when he turns around, Jasper is frightened and quickly hops home. That night, he thinks he sees creepy carrots in the bathroom, but, despite this, he still goes to the field the next morning and pulls and eats carrots.

However, that night Jasper thinks he sees creepy carrots in the shed next to his house and again in his bedroom.

Despite his parents' reassurance, Jasper can't sleep that night. All week, Jasper keeps seeing creepy carrots. Does he really see them? Jasper is sure that there is a way to solve the problem. His solution solves his problem, but in a humorous twist, it also solves the creepy carrots' problem - a greedy rabbit.

How do you make a story about creepy carrots at all scary? It takes a simple, well-told story and very clever atmospheric illustrations that create a scary - but not too scary - mood. Peter Brown's illustrations were created with pencil and then digitally altered and colored. Brown uses color especially effectively in setting the mood. Every page has a black border. The illustrations are in shades of black and brown, with bright orange for the carrots and things Jasper thinks are "creepy csrrots." The sky is always hazy and overcast and much of the action takes place at night when it's dark outside.

Honors

  • 2013 Caldecott Honor Book
  • NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards) Gold Award Winner
  • 2013 ALA Notable Children’s Book List

Author Aaron Reynolds

Aaron Reynolds has written numerous children's books, including the Joey Fly, Private Eye graphic novel series, which is illustrated by Neil Numberman; Superhero School, illustrated by Andy Rash; Chicks and Salsa, illustrated by Paulette Bogan and Back of the Bus, illustrated by Floyd Cooper. He earned a degree in Theatre at Illinois Wesleyan University. (Sources: Aaron Reynolds, Simon & Schuster)

Illustrator Peter Brown

Peter Brown graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

In addition to illustrating Creepy Carrots and several other books written by others, Peter Brown has written and illustrated a number of children's picture books, including You Will Be My Friend!, Children Make Terrible Pets and Chowder. The award-winning picture book The Curious Garden, which Peter Brown wrote and illustrated, is on my list of the Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2009. (Sources: Peter Brown Studio, Simon & Schuster)

My Recommendation

Creepy Carrots is a fun read aloud to share with 3 to 6 year olds any time of year. Because of the tone of the story and the illustrator's use of black and orange throughout the book, it's especially good for Halloween sharing. (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012. ISBN: 9781442402973)

More Picture Book Fun for Younger Children

If you're looking for more picture books you can use for Halloween, I recommend Tucker's Spooky Halloween, by Leslie McGuirk, for ages 3 to 5 and By the Light of the Halloween Moon by Caroline Stutson, with illustrations by Kevin Hawkes, for ages 6 to 8.

For books to read at bedtime, try Margaret Wise Brown's classic, , illustrated by Clement Hurd, and , written by Amy Hest and illustrated by Anita Jeram.

Other picture books I recommend for younger children include: The Carrot Seed, written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Crockett Johnson; by Katie Cleminson; and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault, with illustrations by Lois Ehlert.