Friday, 29 September 2017

As They Grow Older: Running Review 4.

As they grow older - Cover revised.png

The next three stories in Stephen Cashmore's collection of children's stories all have a slightly familiar ring to me.

The innocuously-titled 'Teddies' has the familiar theme of children's toys that come to life. Oddly enough I always found this idea scary as a kid, and I'm pleased to say that the story has the right nightmarish feel.

'Wings' is an old-school framed narrative, in which granddad tells the sprog about something strange that happened on holiday many years ago. This one has a good menacing entity - a flying entity that attacks the family car in a manner that might be mistaken for a hailstorm. This one brought back memories of my own family holidays in Scotland.

Finally there is 'Doctor MacGregor', who lives on Witch Street next to the derelict old school There's a slight touch of Salem's Lot here, as local children fall victim to a mysterious disorder. Eventually the doctor realises that's going on, and a showdown is in order.

It's important to bear in mind that these are 'spooky stories to be read aloud'. This means brevity, and relative simplicity. Most effective ghost stories do work as spoken performances, and I think the tales in As They Grow Older have the authentic touch.

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