Do you like scary tales? Are you a fan of spooky things that go bump in the night? Do you delight in telling ghost stories around a campfire? Or are you simply a fan of The Haunted Mansion? If any of these apply to you, you might indeed be the right person for two books that have just been released by Disney Press.
Disney Presents: The Haunted Mansion is a picture book with an unusual twist. Instead of a story camped between the pages of its covers, you’ll find the lyrics of the song “Grim Grinning Ghosts” spread throughout. Each page is illustrated to feature images as if you were going through the attraction. Tiny details will catch the readers eye as the ride comes to life with each picture. All of your favorite characters are featured – Madame Leota, the murderous bride, the Hatbox Ghost, the caretaker and his dog, the singing busts, and of course the Hitchhiking Ghosts themselves. What makes the book worthwhile for collectors is the inclusion of a CD with the “Grim Grinning Ghosts” song on it (music by Buddy Baker and lyrics by X Atencio). The illustrations are sharp, crisp, and colorful and the dust jacket is beautiful with silver embossed lettering. While it is a picture book and marketed toward young children, I would venture to say that fans of the attraction will get the most pleasure out of the book.
Title: Disney Presents: The Haunted Mansion
Author: Buddy Baker, Xavier Atencio, and James Gilleard
Age: 3-5 (or anyone who loves “Grim Grinning Ghosts”)
Publisher: Disney Press
Genre: Picture book
The other book out for fans of the ride is called Tales From the Haunted Mansion: Volume 1: The Fearsome Foursome. A young reader’s book geared for the junior high crowd, it is creepy enough for a younger person without the gore, horror, or shock of a Stephen King novel. It is creepy and does deal with horror related themes though so if you have a sensitive child or just one who doesn’t like the supernatural, you may want to avoid this book. As a fan of the attraction, I enjoyed all the little homages. Dialogue from the Ghost Host is peppered throughout the book, little scenes from the ride appear in different segments, and characters are referenced such as the bride, Mistress Constantine, the caretaker and his dog, the raven, and others. The story isn’t quite consistent as aspects of it are not tied together well and at the end there were certain questions that still lingered, but overall it is a well done book. And given that it is volume 1, there are sure to be other books from this line in the future.
Title: Tales From the Haunted Mansion: Volume 1: The Fearsome Foursome
Author: Amicus Arcane w/John Esposito and illustrations by Kelley Jones
Age: 8-12 (and fans of teen horror)
Publisher: Disney Press
Genre: Fiction, young readers
If you love the Haunted Mansion, you’ll enjoy both of these books. Fans especially will enjoy all of the references to the storyline of the ride. Just look over your shoulder to make sure no ghosts are hitchhiking their way home with you.
You can order both Disney Presents: The Haunted Mansion and Tales From the Haunted Mansion: Volume 1: The Fearsome Foursome online through Amazon or other online retailers or from your local bookstore.