THE MYSTERY OF THE HAUNTED FARM by Elys Dolan
Kirkus Star

THE MYSTERY OF THE HAUNTED FARM

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dolan takes her zany, anthropomorphic animals to new heights of silliness in this Halloween tale.

After a night of sleepwalking, Farmer Greg returns to find his farm now inhabited by beasts and ghouls. “Who you gonna call?” Ghost-Hunters, of course. The three pigs, in a remarkably familiar-looking vehicle, arrive in no time with their Phantom Finder 5000 to root out the paranormal. But they don’t find anything paranormal. Not at the pond, where zombie ducks wander with bloodshot eyes: “Quack! Brains!” Not in the farmhouse, where ghostly cows roam. And not in the barn, covered in green slime, where “He lives! Frankenhorse lives!” and the Mighty Donkula presides over the vampire bats, who “vant to suck your blood.” The vegetable patch similarly registers zero on the instruments. A visit to the chicken coop reveals both the diabolical plot and the reason behind it, and readers are sure to be taken by surprise—they won’t see this twist coming. While this is definitely a children’s book, Dolan adds some masterful one-liners for adult readers’ benefit that are sure to cause chuckles (one Ghost-Hunter says, “I ain’t afraid of no goat!”). Dolan’s mixed-media illustrations balance the creepy with the silly and are filled with hysterical details, visual puns, and speech bubbles, so readers are sure to find new things on repeat readings.

This is one haunted farm readers won’t want to skip. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: June 28th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-7636-8658-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2016




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