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)