Cover image for Tell me a scary story --but not too scary!
Tell me a scary story --but not too scary!
Reiner, Carl, 1922-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Little, Brown and Co., [2003]

Physical Description:
1 audio disc (approximately 11 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 book (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm)
A little boy has an adventure in the scary basement of his mysterious new neighbor, Mr. Neewollah.
General Note:
Accompanying book illustrated by James Bennett.

Compact disc.
Reading Level:
AD 560 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.8 0.5 77892.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.3 3 Quiz: 35510 Guided reading level: O.
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
COMPDISC KIT 43 Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday

On Order



Everyone loves scary stories and award-winning comedy writer/director Carl Reiner invites readers to huddle close as he tells a young boy's tale of the mysterious house next door. Parents and children can read along together as they listen to spooky sound effects and Carl Reiner's performance.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A boy sneaks into his neighbor's basement and comes face-to-face with a red-eyed ghoul. "I can't describe this awful monster except to say that it looked exactly like-like the picture on the next page!" gasps comedian Reiner, who asks, "Shall we turn the page-or is it too scary?" Bennett, who caricatures Reiner as he did Jerry Seinfeld in Halloween, doesn't pull punches in his creepy images, and these nearly live up to the narrator's promise to "give you nightmares forever." Gross-out enthusiasts will probably lap this up. Other youngsters, however, may indeed be haunted by the flesh-crawling close-ups of monsters (monster masks, as it turns out) and might prefer Annie Was Warned (reviewed above), which rewards a similarly teasing, scary buildup with a comic ending. Or kids can skip the pictures altogether by listening to the audio CD included here, which features Reiner in a masterly readaloud (but watch out for those irresistible references to turning the page). Ages 4-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-As this book opens, the author is preparing to tell his tale to a young listener, gently assuring her that he'll stop if it gets too scary. He then proceeds with his story, supposedly a recollection from his own childhood, during which a mysterious man named Mr. Neewollah moved into the house next door. As he watched him unload boxes, something fell out, and when he picked it up, the boy discovered that it was a marble that looked just like an eyeball. He decided to return it at midnight, saw a light in the basement, and fell through the window. This inevitably led to a meeting with his neighbor and the spooky costumes he created. This tale has the makings of a shivery treat, but the surprises are rather predictable and the chills fail to materialize. Reiner continually interrupts his narrative with questions: "This isn't too scary for you, is it?" and "Should I keep going?" and the tale unfolds at a glacial pace. Bennett's cartoon characters with their oversized heads and exaggerated facial features are appropriately grotesque but seem better suited for comedy or parody. The trouble is that readers simply aren't drawn into the young protagonist's story. Stick with old favorites like Bill Martin, Jr.'s The Ghost-Eye Tree (Holt, 1995) or one of Alvin Schwartz's fine collections, such as In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories (HarperCollins, 1984).-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.