Poems and Rhymes = Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?
Okay, for those of you who've never heard of [i]Scary Stories[/i], I'll make this quick:
Guy takes urban legends and campfire ghost stories, teams up with a talented illustrator, and puts out a series of popular childrens' books, earning himself a place in childrens' literature without writing any original material.
Guy takes obscure poems and nursery rhymes, and, for whatever reason, throws in a culling spell from a centuries-old spellbook he has lying around, and people read the spell and unknowingly kill their children (and bosses, talk-radio personalities, models, etc.).
As with everything, I'm going to bore you with details of my childhood.
Children are cruel, spiteful creatures, and we told each other ghost stories and urban legends to freak each other out. Of course, everyone who repeated these things, where the killer is calling the babysitter from upstairs, or the dog is choking on the severed fingers of the man hiding under the bed, or you can summon a vengeful spirit by saying "Bloody Mary" into a mirror, well, we said these things actually happened to someone we knew. A friend of someone we knew. Our cousin's best friend's etc.
So these kinds of stories go back forever, no one really bothered to write them down, and kids had a lot of fun telling them to each other because we're all tiny mental patients who are fascinated by monsters, blood and gore.
So, guy comes along, decides to make a buck by putting all these stories down on paper. Not that the books suck, I read a few of these when I was a kid and found them to be entertaining and worthwhile.
It's just that it's not as cool when you find out that the story about the hairless chihuahua that turns out to be a sewer rat is made up. In this case, the words lose their power once they're down on paper.
In [i]Lullaby[/i], the printing of the culling spell makes it more powerful by getting it out in public where it can cause damage - you don't have to translate Ancient Zulu to use it.
Okay, considering that [i]Lullaby's[/i] point is that repackaging culture and selling it as your own is generally a bad thing, does anyone else see a similarity between the two books, or am I just full of crap here?