This week is quickly drifting into the weekend, which must mean it’s time for First Line Friday! Each week I grab a book from my shelf (or from wherever it’s wandered off to) and share the first line or so. They might be quotes from my TBR pile or an old favorite or even a book I’m not particularly fond of.
This week’s first line provides a scare.
The gargoyles squat high on corners staring into space, their empty eyes unblinking
till night comes.
I’m always on the lookout for scary books— mostly because I rarely come across ones that are truly frightening. That’s not to suggest that I’m brave. At all. Plenty are creepy, unsettling, and even gross, but it’s rare to come across one that makes me turn on all the lights, lock all the doors, and check under the bed. Remarkably, Night of the Gargoyles, a picture book, proves pretty hair-raising in only a few words.
The story is simple, and yet author Eve Bunting manages to paint a hugely unsettling picture in the first two spreads. During the day, these creatures are merely waterspouts. But at night? Everything changes. Add in David Wiesner’s illustrations of these grotesques looking straight at the reader with their stone eyes? Terrifying.
Title: Night of the Gargoyles
Author: Eve Bunting
Illustrator: David Wiesner
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: October 17, 1994
Classification: Picture Book