Duquennoy, known best for his charming story The Ghost’s Dinner (1994), creates a book that readers must tilt, spin and jiggle in order to truly experience.
The text issues an invitation on the very first page: “Join the dance circle and…watch Little Ghost shake it!” A die-cut circle reveals a partially drawn ghost with a bright red hat, eyes and a smiling mouth; a loose metal chain outlines the shape of the specter on each side. Over this is a clear window of plastic so that the chains are enclosed and protected from overeager hands that may want to pull at them. Around the large center circle are six figures illustrating possible ways the chains can move to create different dances. The first are directional—“up high, down low, to the left”—but the last ones provoke smiles with names like “Thriller” and “Freestyle.” With only four such spreads in the book, the same conceit is further explored with worms arching and curling their backs, a cat whirling his tail clockwise and counterclockwise, and finally, Little Ghost in a purple hat showing off possible new hair styles. (This is the trickiest one, since the five small chains of hair need to be manipulated to fall in opposite directions.) And that’s pretty much it.
Although most kids may enjoy the challenge at first, the excitement is short-lived. (Novelty. 4-6)