BUMPS IN THE NIGHT by Harry Allard


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In this mock-spooky spoof, Allard doesn't so much disabuse readers of fear of the dark as knock it out from under them. The story starts with sleepless Dudley the Stork's grandfather clock striking 12 on a Right of howling wind, hooting owls. . . and an invading, big white IT, which bumps up and down stairs, turns the TV on and off, and, feeling wet, touches Dudley's beak with a smack! before Dudley locks himself in his bedroom. The next big scene is a stormy-night s‚ance, attended by Dudley's animal friends and presided over by alligator Madam Kreepy, who goes into a deep deep trance (""Boy, was it spooky too!"") and summons Dudley's haunt--a white horse ghost named Donald who simply wants someone to play with. (The wet smack, he explains, was just a friendly kiss.) The upshot? ""Donald the Horse proved a charming friend,"" visiting Dudley and his friends at night when he would tell funny stories, make taffy, help Georgina the Ostrich make a pretty pink party dress, and help Trevor Hog with his arithmetic. If kids set up for some shivers don't feel cheated, they might appreciate the ridiculous comedown, but the assent would be easier were Donald a more spirited playmate. In any case, Marshall's silly-spooky effects make it easy to go along with just about everything but the pretty pink party dress.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1979
Publisher: Doubleday