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BY THE LIGHT OF THE HALLOWEEN MOON by Caroline Stutson

BY THE LIGHT OF THE HALLOWEEN MOON

by Caroline Stutson & illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-12045-8

 Stutson's first is a catchy, lilting cumulative tale with glorious comical/scary illustrations. Wriggling on a relaxed bare foot dangling from a rickety footbridge (at the top of the pages, so that only its owner's legs are visible) is ``A toe!/A lean and gleaming toe/That taps a tune in the dead of night/By the light...of the Halloween moon!'' The action here is all under the bridge: a perching cat spies the toe; as it leaps for it, a witch snatches at the cat. The cumulation continues with a bat; ``A ghastly drooling graveyard ghoul/Who swats at the bat''; and a piratical ``williwaw ghost,'' as Hawkes silhouettes the vibrant, bug-eyed figures dramatically against the night's pitch black. Last comes a pan up to ``A small bright slip of a smiling girl,'' owner of the menaced toe and of a fiddle, with which she ``smacks the sprite/Who bites the ghost...'' while she tells them all, ``OH, NO YOU DON'T!/THAT TOE IS MINE!'' Hawkes's splendidly imaginative ghoulies and ghosties will delight both young monster-fanciers and admirers of his glowing painterly style and handsome compositions--as will nifty touches like mussels in the pirate's luminous beard, a cartoony worm in the ghoul's top hat, and the sly contrast between the girl's purely innocent bare legs and the boisterous underworld that never quite touches them. A must. (Picture book. 4-10)