Twenty-six inspired, eerie poems, in a picture book illustrated in a fine, spooky style by a newcomer to children's books. Ranging from the obvious Jack-o'-lantern and Ghost to the nicely gruesome Pet "". . .that's not the least bit vicious,/yet finds the neighbors quite nutritious,"" Merriam's verse delights with its neat rhymes (""Demon: '. . .put your hate in,/Satan; pass the pitchfork, please,/Mephistopheles. . .'""), sly humor, and bits of philosophy ("". . .the mask that no one detects:/your face that the mirror reflects""), while using language more felicitously than Prelutsky in his robustly comic Nightmares. Lane's oil-on-board paintings, in smoky, dark, earth tones, reflect and extend the text: a haunted house sways sinuously in the wind, its facade glowering like a jack-o'-lantern, the smoke from its chimney reiterating the letter H; the hand that holds the ""Delicious, malicious"" apple sports talons that repeat the image of flames from which it rises. Elegant in design, precise in image, this is a sophisticated style that should be popular for its subject, with appeal for any age that enjoys the macabre side of Halloween.