FRIGHT SCHOOL by Janet Lawler


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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Where else but Fright School will goblins, ghosts, and ghouls learn to scare trick-or-treaters?

Human schools might not expect their students to learn how to “moan,” “leer,” or “swoop” (or hold graduation in October), but other parts of Fright School will seem quite familiar, if with an eerie twist. There are picky eaters in the lunchroom (“Our apples don’t taste rotten!”) as well as students who will eat seemingly anything, and at recess, the jungle gym is popular with the spiders. On the way in, “The janitor tells birds of prey / to wipe their dirty claws. / The nurse yells from her office, / ‘Hey, I’m running out of gauze!’ ” (Both nurse and patients are mummies.) But although the students have learned all kinds of things, courage is not among them: When there’s a knock at the door, the students run away at the sight of three costumed trick-or-treaters: cowboy and princess who present white and a pirate (with eye patch) who presents black. Lawler’s rhythm and rhyme are mostly spot-on. Galletti’s seemingly digital illustrations display a delightful array of student stereotypes, including a nerdy cat with a ruler, a bat with braces, an ultra-girly witch bedecked in pink, and a skeleton who skateboards into class.

Readers may pick up a few frightening pointers of their own for Halloween night, but will they make the grade? (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-8075-2553-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Whitman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2018


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