With its appealing pictures and smooth rhymes, this book makes an excellent choice for a scary story read-aloud.



A couple of dark-haired, big-eyed siblings explore the rooms of a monster-filled hotel with the warning to never look behind door 32.

In this Halloween picture book from the team of Fegan and Wen (Titch the Itch, 2017, etc.), the proprietor, Nicholas Noo, greets two pale-skinned children who are the first (human) guests at the Hotel of Hoo. But their stay in room No. 1 comes with the caveat about door 32. The kids proceed to examine each room, counting up to 32, meeting such creatures as grounds-cleaning clowns, light bulb–changing knights, dancing zombies, purple goblins, mad scientists, “miniature giants,” vampire mermaids, and the rest. The children’s facial expressions in Wen’s illustrations are priceless: The brother is clearly more reticent than his perpetually amused younger sister, who shows no fear of kitchen ghosts or old trolls. In several images, the brother pushes or pulls her past particularly troublesome rooms, including one reserved for visitors, and a daunting maze. What is behind door 32? The answer isn’t what readers will expect, and the finale of the charmingly rhymed book has a pleasing twist designed to make kids chuckle with relief that nothing really terrible is lurking. While the tale offers plenty of creepy-crawlies and spooky hazards for monster lovers, there are also delightfully cute dragons, a fantastic library, and adorable baby wizards for readers who prefer their Halloweens less frightening.

With its appealing pictures and smooth rhymes, this book makes an excellent choice for a scary story read-aloud.

Pub Date: March 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-648-10190-1

Page Count: 36

Publisher: TaleBlade

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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