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THE HALLOWEEN HOUSE by Erica Silverman


by Erica Silverman & illustrated by Jon Agee

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 1997
ISBN: 0-374-33270-3
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 A natural candidate for reading aloud, this book puts a Halloween twist on a familiar counting rhyme: ``In the Halloween house,/in a dark dingy den,/a papa werewolf crouched/with his little ones ten.'' Silverman (Mrs. Peachtree's Bicycle, 1996, etc.) populates her creaky mansion with tried and true creatures, both natural and supernatural: baby vampires, worms, spiders, witches, monsters, ghosts, young skeletons, bats, etc. With splashy watercolors reminiscent of those in James Stevenson's Grandpa yarns, Agee not only creates a plotline--two escaped convicts spend a terrifying night touring the derelict place before dashing back to their cells--but depicts all the creepies as more cute than frightening, or at least harmless-looking. Children will need little encouragement to imitate the howling, squirming, swooping, ``Booooooo''-ing cast, without fear of nightmares when it's time for bed. (Picture book. 3-5)