The Beth Am Library Has Scary Stories in Picture Books
Does your child enjoy a scary story (but not too scary)? Because of our history, we Jews have a tradition of scary stories. The most famous story is that of the Golem of Prague. The library has a number of picture books based on this folktale, from the original story retold and illustrated by David Wisniewski, in striking papercuts, to Golemito a story of two boys in Mexico City who try to fight bullying by creating a golem.
Author Eric Kimmel has written four picture book stories that are always popular with children of all ages: Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, Gershon's Monster, The Golem's Latkes and Hayyim's Ghost.
The library even has a graphic novel about a Jewish pirate called Skullcaps and Crossbones, based on a true character who survived the Spanish Inquisition and became a pirate for revenge.
Eve Buntings beautiful book Terrible Things is an allegory of the Holocaust from the perspective of bunnies who hide from the terrible thing that takes away different animals.
Check out our collection of scary, picture book stories. You and your child are sure to be entertained.
- Golem* by David Wisniewski
This is the original golem story powerfully illustrated with papercut depictions.
- Gershon's Monster: A Story for the Jewish New Year by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Jon J. Muth
Gershon makes mistakes, but instead of asking forgiveness he sweeps them up, tosses them in the cellar, then on Rosh Hashanah he puts them in a sack and casts them into the sea. When his thoughtless behavior threatens the life of his beloved children, he takes responsibility for his misdeeds.
- Golemito* by Ilan Stavans and illustrated by Tresa Villegas
A fictional story of how two Jewish boys in Mexico City confront bullying by creating a golem.
- The Golem's Latkes* by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Aaron Jasinski
When the Rabbi leaves to visit the emperor, his maid gets the golem to do her housework. When she goes off to visit a friend, the golem prepares latkes with alarming results.
- The Golem of Prague* by Irene Cohen-Janca and illustrated by Maurizio A.C. Quarello
The traditional story with an interesting twist.
- Hayyim's Ghost by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated Ari Binus
A greedy woman finds a way to bury her dead husband for free at the expense of a poor workman.
- Hershel & the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
Hershel of Ostropol outwits eight goblins and saves Hanukkah for a whole village.
- The Legend of Freedom Hill by Linda Jacobs Altman and illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu
Two young girls help to rescue a kidnapped slave.
- Skullcaps and Crossbones: The Adventures of Yonah Klein by Shmuel Kafri and illustrated by Jacky Yarhi
A graphic, fictional novel based on a real Jewish person, Yaakov Korel, who suffered at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition and became a pirate to pay them back.
- Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Stephen Gammell
A bunny watches as the terrible things take different animals away, until there is no one else left.
*The Golem is a mythical creature from Jewish Folklore. 400 years ago, according to legend, a revered Jewish teacher and scholar, Rabbi Loew, shaped a giant man of clay -- a golem -- and brought him to life to protect the Jews of Prague.