Harcourt Books - Short Stories/Children (ages 9-12)
Strange Happenings was on my wish list at Paperback Swap for at least 2 years before I finally managed to acquire a copy. I'm just telling you that so that you'll know what a patient soul I am.
There are 5 short stories in Strange Happenings. "Bored Tom" tells the story of a boy who'd rather be a cat (because cats don't have to do anything but lie around all day -- obviously, Tom has never met my hyperactive kitty girls) and describes what happens when Tom gets to change bodies with a stray cat he has adopted. "Babette the Beautiful" is the story of a queen who wants to give birth to a baby of flawless perfection and finds the answer to her wish is a little too much to handle.
"Curious" tells what happens to a boy who is so curious about the town baseball team's alien mascot that he can't rest till he finds out who is inside that costume. "The Shoemaker and Old Scratch" tells the story of a greedy shoemaker who makes a deal with the devil but doesn't know it. And, "Simon" tells about a hunter who gets his due after he kills the most beautiful bird in the forest.
Each story has a bit of a fairy-tale feel and they do tend to be horrifying in the manner of the old-style tales but not always in a gory way. Strange Happenings was definitely a good choice for that spooky time of year some of us have come to know as R.I.P. Challenge Season. Well, at least I think of it that way.
I didn't sign up for the R.I.P. V. Challenge since I have a two-challenge limit; but I still wanted to read something creepy. It fit; I'm satisfied. I can't say I loved the stories but I also can't seem to put a finger on why. Maybe it was the fact that they were a little too predictable. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for the level of payback in the average fairy tale. Honestly, I just don't know. But, I'm glad I waited 2 or more years for the book because it definitely was a perfect way to usher in fall and I do think it's worth reading, even though I didn't find it altogether satisfying.
I always regret it when I don't sign up for the R.I.P., incidentally. Someone remind me of that, next year, okay?Sometimes kitties do lie around doing absolutely nothing. We call it "looking innocent".
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