How about reading them Creepy Kitchen?
Creepy Kitchen is a children's book written by Lee Newman and illustrated by Dan Houser. It stars an unnamed narrator who takes the reader for a tour through a run-down old house that is inhabited by a number of creatures, each one hailing from the depths of the kitchen. I read this on a whim and really loved the inventiveness behind the story.
What I like best about Creepy Kitchen is the cast of characters the narrator meets. Each of them is based on classic monsters, like Dracula and the Creature From The Black Lagoon. However, Newman puts a kitchen-themed spin on them (naturally), giving us some creative creatures like Count Spatula, the Crock Mess Monster, and my personal favorite, the Whiskwolf.
|I mean, with a 'do like that,|
how can he NOT be your favorite?
What I love about Newman's writing is that his story is simple enough that a child can follow it but his humor is mature enough that even adults can enjoy it. He doesn't resort to juvenile jokes or expecting his audience to be unlearned. His jokes come naturally and don't feel forced. He even manages to include a few self-referencing asides, making the story somewhat meta but keeping it grounded as well.
But one of the best parts of the book is the art by Dan Houser. Houser gives each of the panels a dirty, grimy look, capturing the feel of the haunted house perfectly. His monster designs are wonderful, tapping into the spirit of the monster and blending it well with the kitchen utensil. He brings the characters to life beautifully, offering up a nice, spooky vibe without being overtly scary.
In addition to the narrative of Creepy Kitchen, Newman and Houser offer a variety of supplemental materials in their activity ebook. The activities include coloring pages, mazes, and connect the dots, all of which feature the monsters from the story. When (that's right, when) your kids fall in love with these characters, you can continue their exposure to them through the different activities, and give them something else to do besides watch television and play video games. AND at just a buck, this is the kind of deal that you really can't go wrong with
Creepy Kitchen is not just the kind of story that you can sit down and read with your kids. It's a story that can keep the both of you entertained while you read it. As with anything, it may start to get old after about fifty readings or so, but I can guarantee that you'll continue to chuckle on the second, third, or even fifth read. I know that I've read it a few times now and it continues to make me smile.
For more information on what's to come from the Creepy Kitchen universe, be sure to go Like their page on Facebook.