Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Paul Meisel

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-525-42272-3
Publisher: Dutton

Father Ghost tackles a nightly challenge for many parents—getting their kids to go to sleep.

He agrees to tell three stories, each more scary than the last. Readers will find, however, what is frightening to ghosts is just hilarious to mere mortals. Tucked in their coffins and aglow in bright white, young Franny and Frankie stare wide-eyed at their dad as he begins the first story, “The Scary Baby.” Uncle Ned is eager to terrify somebody. The easiest to scare should be a baby. But he tangles with the wrong infant and his mama…and ends up on the baby’s bottom as a diaper! The second story features the Haunted Hamburger. By simply sitting on a tree stump and looking at boastful cousin Nell with “two round eyes as green as pickles,… a wide, squiggly mouth as yellow as mustard [and] wet bloody cheeks as red as ketchup,” it turns her into a humbler specter. The final story tells the tale of “The Big Bad Granny,” who truly horrifies with an onslaught of tickles, hugs and kisses. As fresh as LaRochelle’s text is, Meisel’s playfully rendered illustrations capture every ridiculous, giggle-inducing moment and amps it right up.

Share with the most sleep-resistant and squirmy kids for a surefire read-aloud romp. (Picture book. 6-8)