A Halloween caper (with deliciously spooky special effects) for a young sleuth and her trusty canine sidekick.
Trick-or-treat candy disappearing from her bedroom prompts Violet to adopt her “Phantom Girl” mask, screw her courage to the sticking place and search her darkened house for the culprit. Readers brave enough to follow along can tap lamps and switches to turn on lights—throwing sudden bat- or spider-shaped shadows on the walls—and touch several items or shadowy silhouettes in each cartoon scene to make them move, become visible “clues” or emit startlingly loud laughs or other creepy noises. Holiday decorations in every room, plus moderately menacing background music and an occasional flash and rumble from outside add even more atmosphere. A final eerie tweak is revealed when Violet, having cornered a “criminal” who turns out to be small, fuzzy and cute, dons (selectable) pajamas and turns off her bedside lamp. As in previous cases, the author herself stands in as a lively optional narrator, a thumbnail index allows skipping around or revisiting favorite scenes quickly and a button on the opening menu will put outlines around all of the subsequent interactive effects to make them easy to find.
Just the ticket for children seeking chills of the sort that stay well away from nightmare territory. (iPad storybook app. 6-8)