In the same vein as the author’s Once Upon a Time Map Book (1999 with foldouts; flat edition 2004), more map-reading practice in the guise of an ocean voyage and six tours of spooky landscapes or locales.
Hennessy starts by inviting armchair travelers to step aboard the Ghostly Galleon in a Mediterranean “Haunted Harbor” and later to join such tour guides as Gruesome Gus for a trip around the “Western Terror-tories,” and Hercules as he revisits the sites of selected labors in the “Land of Mythical Monsters.” For each expedition, the author lays out an itinerary with map coordinates in stages measured by “mermaid leagues,” “zombie miles” or like appropriate units. Readers can trace each route on uncluttered painted aerial or cutaway views that fill about two thirds of their spreads. These come with number/letter grids (in a lightweight typeface that makes it hard to distinguish a “1” from an “I”), compass roses, keys and large (superfluous) labels on major features—as well as various mermaids and monsters, plus tiny black cats or other not-exactly-concealed items to spot. Madrid’s digitally produced illustrations include full-page “close ups” that, for some reason, differ in detail from their corresponding iterations on the maps.
Not particularly challenging—nor, since the settings are conventional enough that even younger children will probably find them familiar, particularly scary either. (Picture book. 7-9)