Boo Stew

Boo Stew
by Donna L. Washington
illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler

There had always been scares in Toadsuck Swamp, but Curly Locks didn’t mind. The only thing she truly cared about was cooking. Unfortunately for Curly Locks, she’s an awful cook and all the townspeople know to steer clear of her cat hair cupcakes or toad eye toffees. Until one night when a fresh batch of her lizard skin lasagna goes missing from Curly Locks’s windowsill…

Pretty soon, Scares start appearing all over town, terrorizing the townspeople at mealtime shrieking “Gitchey Boo, Gitchey Bon! Gitchey Goo, Gitchey Gone!” With everyone else tremblin’ and squawkin’, Curly Locks gets to wonderin’ if she should try cooking for the Scares. Can Curly Locks use her smarts and unique culinary talents to help corral those Scares for good?

Internationally known, award-winning storyteller Donna L. Washington has cooked up a delightfully spooky fractured fairy tale with a diverse cast of characters and an imaginative twist on the classic “Goldilocks.” Donna’s clever, can-do protagonist and joyful language paired with Jeffrey Ebbeler’s imaginative illustrations will tempt readers into a ghostly, yet enchanting landscape that they won’t want to leave! A perfectly spooky read aloud for Halloween storytimes.

Start your adventure with Curly Locks in this excerpt, and test out some spooky recipes from Curly Locks’s Cookbook!

“Curly Locks is a plucky Black girl among a multiracial cast of characters whose country accents enhance the story’s setting. The inky, blotchy Scares are pretty scary, and Curly Locks’ food is stomach-turning, hilarious for lovers of gross humor. This fairy-tale–style story is a standout pleaser. . . .” —Kirkus Reviews

“A fun story about pursuing one’s passions even when other people might not understand. . . The characters’ exaggerated body proportions add the right amount of humor, while the inky and spooky Scares are the stuff of nightmares. . . [A] fun Halloween read sure to entertain in any season.” —School Library Journal

Find Boo Stew this September at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble, and be sure to check out the rest of our brand-new picture books and middle grade and YA titles coming to Peachtree this season!