Counting to five and back provides the underlying structure of Paquette’s innocuous ghost tale that challenges the preschool set to guess what spooky creature makes each sound.
A friendly ghost in pale blue reveals himself after shouting “Boo!” At first he believes he is all alone until “he goes slip-slide / with a swoop and a glide / Until he hears… / A GROAN!” On the far right side of the facing page is a glimpse of the eyes of a figure and his bandaged hand. Astute readers will not have too much of a challenge guessing the mummy, monster, skeleton and witch from the visual hints that follow. Once the five creepy buddies are together, they get a bit of a shock when “a sudden FLASH / Makes them topple and crash, / And suddenly they hear… / ‘WHO’S THERE?’ ” In an amusing though not original twist, the spooks are the ones frightened away and run from the innocuous little boy: “Five, four, three, two, one…!” Record creates the benign characters digitally, and the spreads all appear to have the textured yet uncluttered look of collage.
Although not particularly memorable, this slip of a story offers mild entertainment for the youngest readers. (Picture book. 2-6)