Monster Melly is invited to her cousin Malberta’s house “on the scariest night of all.” On her way, she notices she is being followed. Why? More importantly: by what?
Melly looks pleasant enough for a young monster, with her striped horns and fanged smile. What surprise could her cousin have in store for her? She has no time to think about that, as one “coal-black cat with an itchy-twitchy tail” seems to be stalking her. Melly tells herself bravely it is “Not the least bit scary.” The following spreads reveal an increasing number of spooky characters following her. “[T]wo skittish skeletons” and “three wheezy witches” join the procession in turn, until “ten vexing vultures” round out the silly and not-so-scary group of creepy characters. But by the time Melly rings Malberta’s doorbell, her teeth are chattering with fear. Her three-eyed cousin opens the door to welcome her to a surprise party. But the true surprise is that all the other guests are right behind her! Brendler’s cumulative tale uses silly rhymes and humorous descriptions to make this counting adventure one that invites participation. Geisel winner Pizzoli (The Watermelon Seed, 2013) chooses a muted palette of oranges, browns, greens and purples to allow the whites—on Melly’s horns, cheerful ghosts and friendly skeletons—to glow.
A terrific Halloween title to share with those readers who prefer giggles to shivers. (Picture book. 4-8)