A large peekaboo on the cover reveals five friendly ghosts for toddlers to count in this unscary twist on the traditional fingerplay “Five Little Pumpkins.”
Kushnir substitutes ghosts that “float by” for the usual pumpkins sitting on the gate. The second line remains, “There are witches in the air,” but the third ghost adds “Boo” to the usual “I don’t care.” The lines for the fourth and fifth ghost are similarly altered, but the final line returns to the satisfying “ ‘Wooooooo,’ went the wind, and out went the lights” of the original. The revised rhymes work reasonably well, though caregivers may struggle to get the original verse out of their minds. The ghosts are translucent gray instead of white but still stand out against nighttime scenes rendered in dark purple, green, and orange. Each ghost is dressed for Halloween with distinct costumes: kitty, pirate, witch, clown, and king. The three witches have green and yellow faces. Typical Halloween icons (yellow moon, jack-o’-lantern, candy bowl, bat, cat, and candles) revealed in well-placed cutouts on each page hint at what is to come and remind children of what came before. The cutouts also serve as handholds for little fingers just learning to turn pages.
Useful for counting practice and where simple, sturdy Halloween board books are needed. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)