Unless readers are familiar with cities and towns in Ohio, the conceit falls flat in this arbitrary, rhyming tale of what happened one Halloween.
A boy recounts his fantastical Halloween adventures in rhyming couplets that occasionally work in a name or two from the Buckeye State. “The creepies were crawly, the crazies were crazed, / The zombies from Athens had eyes that were glazed. / The ogres from Dayton were ugly as sin, / With big bulging noses and warts on their chin.” Although the text scans relatively well, the illustrations do little to add to the story. The type has a jittery aspect that changes size and boldness yet does not consistently add valuable emphasis. Even when the slim plot takes a turn—the narrator is awarded the prize for “The Best Costume in Ohio”—the story lacks overall appeal. One of 25 titles meant to provide localized Halloween fun, it is only barely passable in that niche. Other locales include California, the Carolinas, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New England, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. All of Canada is encompassed in another, and there is a generic A Halloween Scare in My House for everyone else.
Pass on this bland offering unless you are desperate for a Halloween book that mentions places near you. (Picture book. 4-7)