Book Review: Night Terrors by Kristen Tomaru

night terrors

Title: Night Terrors

Author: Kristen Tomaru

Release date: July 21, 2021

I came across this book by chance, scrolling through the Horror Oasis Facebook page. The author (and illustrator) Kristen was looking for some folks to review it. I took a look on Amazon and Goodreads and bought a copy for Kindle.

The book is marketed as ‘nightmare poems for kids,’ but after having read this, I’d suggest that ‘kids’ would be more 10+ maybe even 13+. I myself have a five year old who is obsessed with all things dark and fantastical. He’s a massive Trevor Henderson fan, we’ve watched Beetlejuice already and we spend some time finding creepy creatures on Youtube and Instagram. Not to say he has free reign to watch and see anything and everything – we do monitor and I’ll typically pre-watch things – but we know his limits and stay within them.

Saying all of that – I wouldn’t read these poems to him. I’ll get into it a bit more later, but for a five year old, these would be too intense.

What I liked: Wow, are the illustrations in this book gorgeous. Stunning truly. Even reading this on Kindle, each and every one is so detailed and just phenomenal. This is a book that’d be a true stunner to hold in hand with a physical copy.

The book itself has roughly 16 poems and illustrations, each poem tied into the accompanied illustration (or vice versa). The poem tells a dark story about what you see and each one typically revolves around something coming and snatching/killing/dismembering the sleeping child during the night. Some are tinged with dark humor – we get one about a toilet bowl monster and one about a noxious-fart beast – but otherwise all are similar in nature.

For me, I was a massive fan of The Babadook and loved the book/rhyme that featured. Think of how that was and you’ll have a solid idea of what too expect, but darker, more extreme.

What I didn’t like: While I enjoyed each poem individually, as a whole the reality of each poem having the same layout/rhyme pattern/syllable pattern caused them to all feel a bit similar.

As will, as I mentioned before, the poems here are very dark, very bleak for their intended audience. I’d suggest you pre-read this or even preview it on Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ feature to see if you’d think it was appropriate for your little one.

Why you should buy this: This was a delicious batch of dark poems that I gobbled up. The illustrations are simply phenomenal. I’ll be grabbing a paperback of this in the future, because it is truly stunning.

If you’re looking for some really bleak poems, like Grimm Fairy Tales but darker for adults, look no further. Kristen has knocked this one out of the park.


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