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The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister

by Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, Emma Trevayne

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1185181,262 (3.95)None
Thirty-six eerie short tales, most of which were originally published on the blog of the same name, relate to an imaginary museum of creepy artifacts and are arranged into such thematic "drawers" as love, luck, song, and fairy tales.
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Showing 5 of 5
If you enjoy creepy short story collections then I think I might have found the perfect book for you. (Maybe this could be your Halloween read!) What makes this collection even more interesting is that it was compiled by 4 different children's authors. Claire Legrand, Emma Trevayne, Katherine Catmull, and Stefan Bachmann banded together to write The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister (the Internet has 36 and 40 which is thoroughly confusing even though I've read the book). This book has a little bit of everything and with the added benefit of different author's voices it is certainly never boring. There's magic, mystery, and straight up horror (just to name a few). The black and white illustrations that accompany each story are absolutely perfect (Great job, Alexander Jansson!) and were honestly one of the reasons why I picked up this book in the first place. They've laid out the narrative in a very unique way as they've styled the chapters like the different drawers and cubbies of a traditional cabinet of curiosities. The authors are the 'curators' of this unique cabinet and the stories are the background for each of the 'items' they've collected for the separate compartments. This helps to connect all of the disparate stories into one cohesive collection and keeps the pace moving. All in all, a solid collection that I might find myself drifting back to for the spooky season. 10/10 ( )
  AliceaP | Sep 8, 2017 |
A bit overwritten. ?Darker than the pretty-ish cover implies. ?áHorror, I've decided, is when innocents get victimized. ?áFantasy/ folk tales punish the bad guys. ?áThis is too much horror for me. ?áAlso the stories are too short for me. ?áI probably would have loved it as a child. ?áClever, and some are esp. poignant.

Otoh, they're perfect for school children. ?áA reluctant reader could read a whole story during one period of SSR. ?áOr, a teacher could assign each child a story to learn and share, one per week over the course of the year. ?á(Maybe it's an additional duty for Student of the Week.) ?áOr, a parent could have their child read to them while commuting or preparing dinner.

I will look for more by the authors, but I won't look too hard...

I think we all have a wolf inside us.... ?áYou'll know when your shoulders drop back, when your chin lifts high; when you run lightly and with grace; when you know you are an animal, and free." ?áCatmull

"Like most grown-ups, she had not listened to the deep, secret place inside herself for years." ?áLeGrand

"All the noise of words and saying and choosing and judging is left behind you. ?áYou only see the great beauty of the stone, the shell.... ?áAll the words gone quiet." ?áCatmull

Most stories were wholly original. ?áI did like their take on The Twelve Dancing Princesses (by Catmull).

I also learned of the existence of two stories by H.C. Andersen I don't recognize: ?áOle Lukoje and The Shadow. ?áI'll have to track them down, perhaps on Project Gutenberg." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
3.5 out of 5 stars. I've been on an anthology kick lately and this one has been my least favorite so far. It was still good, I would still recommend it, it had some great stories, but none of them really stood out to me. They were kind of all just okay to me. That aside the cover art is gorgeous and the reading is easy. Over all, 3.5 out of 5 stars, I like I said. ( )
  Beammey | Nov 27, 2015 |
I received a sneak peek copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I love spooky middle grade stories. When I saw this, I immediately got intrigued (I mean, look at that cover!) and the contributing authors are all well known. I definitely am glad I got to peek into this book. I wish all 36 tales would've been included in the ARC, but I definitely will be buying a copy when it's released.

The main reason I loved this was because of how scary it is. I know scary isn't normally a description I use for middle grade/young adult novels. I mean, I am an adult...and I don't think I've ever really gotten genuinely creeped out by a novel like this. So when I read it late at night and got kinda jumpy, well I was delighted! I mean, what a surprise!

The stories are all very short. Id say no more than 5 or so pages each. And there are plenty of amazing and sinister illustrations too, which is always a bonus. If you're in the mood for an atmospheric book that has a bunch of scary short stories, you need to pick this one up. But, if you're buying this for a child - be warned, may give them nightmares ;) ( )
  Diamond.Dee. | Jul 3, 2015 |
Middle grade hasn’t really been my thing lately, but I recommend this anthology SO highly. For one thing, it’s absolutely gorgeous: the cover, the illustrations, the formatting. It’s just perfection. Even better, the stories within it are wonderful too. Usually in an anthology, I like a couple really well and some are okay and a whole bunch are duds. In this case, there are only a couple that I was meh on and none that I disliked. Though I do think I generally liked Legrand’s stories the best, I am impressed with all four authors and none of them stands out as less talented. There was no author where I would sigh every time I got to their stories. All four authors are immensely talented. The writing is gorgeous across the board and the scenarios imaginative. Their sense of humor shines as well, in the notes from one curator to another.

Read the full review at A Reader of Fictions. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Jul 10, 2014 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stefan Bachmannprimary authorall editionscalculated
Catmull, Katherinemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Legrand, Clairemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Trevayne, Emmamain authorall editionsconfirmed
Jansson, AlexanderIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Thirty-six eerie short tales, most of which were originally published on the blog of the same name, relate to an imaginary museum of creepy artifacts and are arranged into such thematic "drawers" as love, luck, song, and fairy tales.

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