The most, and best, (pop-up) haunted house in decades.

THE HOUSE OF MADAME M

Fond of house tours? Considering what lurks behind every door, drawer, and flap, here’s the Airbnb from, literally, hell.

“Oh, and one piece of advice,” purrs the partly human guide waiting at the door, “don’t touch a thing.” Viewers valiant (or unwise) enough to ignore that warning are in for a rare screamfest, as every subsequent, dimly lit room is scattered with flaps and pull-tabs that invariably reveal arrays of leering ghosts, hideous monsters, skeletons, imps, or shelves filled with bottles of poison or other portents of doom. Not to mention the raging fire glaring from the pop-up fireplace, the load of disgusting glop sucked into a monstrous mouth, the glutinous thing rising from the bathtub…and so much more. Perrin adds bits of all-too-suggestive patter (“Our cook has been sharpening her knives. You know, some people would kill for a morsel of her tasty creations!”) and lovingly embellishes walls and floors with eerie detail. Unfolding a huge pair of hairy arms reveals a climactic view of assembled boojums beneath an “Abandon hope all who enter here” banner—just the thing to send the never-seen visitor scurrying (“Wait! Where are you going?”)…and probably coming back around to the front for a repeat visit. Not since Jan Pienkowski’s Haunted House (1979) has a pop-up treatment of the theme been so satisfying.

The most, and best, (pop-up) haunted house in decades. (Pop-up picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-776572-74-8

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Simple text, short chapters, and plenty of illustrations will appeal to emerging readers who prefer just a little shiver...

THE HAUNTED HOUSE NEXT DOOR

From the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series , Vol. 1

What happens if you move to a new town and your house is haunted? Andres is about to find out!

Andres Miedoso—his last name means “fearful” in Spanish—is “definitely not the coolest and bravest kid in the world.” In fact, Andres likes normal-boring and understands normal-boring, because he is normal-boring. But when the brown-skinned, curly haired Latino child and his family move to Kersville, he finds out his new home is anything but normal-boring. Fortunately, his next-door neighbor, a black boy named Desmond Cole who is the same age as Andres, is “the coolest, bravest kid in the world.” Desmond’s business as stated on his business card is “Ghost Patrol.” How lucky should a boy feel to live in a haunted house? Very—if you’re Desmond. Not so lucky if you’re Andres. But when the ghost eats a lasagna that makes him sick and tells them he’s been moving from house to house, Andres feels sorry and invites the ghost to stay as long as he promises “not to do any spooky stuff.” A deal is struck, a friendship is born, and a new series for chapter-book readers gets off to a good start.

Simple text, short chapters, and plenty of illustrations will appeal to emerging readers who prefer just a little shiver with their story—and to other readers too. (Suspense. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5344-1039-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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Series fans won’t be disappointed, but young readers and listeners who know only the original ditty may find this a touch...

THERE WAS AN OLD MERMAID WHO SWALLOWED A SHARK!

Having eaten pretty much everything on land in 13 previous versions of the classic song, Colandro’s capaciously stomached oldster goes to sea.

Once again the original cumulative rhyme’s naturalistic aspects are dispensed with, so that not only doesn’t the old lady die, but neither do any of the creatures she consumes. Instead, the titular shark “left no mark,” a squid follows down the hatch to “float with the shark,” a fish to “dance with the squid,” an eel to “brighten the fish” (with “fluorescent light!” as a subsequent line explains), and so on—until at the end it’s revealed to be all pretending anyway on a visit to an aquarium. Likewise, though Lee outfits the bespectacled binge-eater with a finny tail and the requisite bra for most of the extended episode, she regains human feet and garb at the end. In the illustrations, the old lady and one of the two children who accompany her are pink-skinned; the other has frizzy hair and an amber complexion. A set of nature notes on the featured victims and a nautical seek-and-find that will send viewers back to the earlier pictures modestly enhance this latest iteration.

Series fans won’t be disappointed, but young readers and listeners who know only the original ditty may find this a touch bland. (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-12993-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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