Sierra adapts a few spooky tales for the early-reader set with lackluster results.
Most books with this format form a cohesive whole, but the chapters here stand alone for the most part. Three chapters are reworkings of familiar tales. “The Skeleton Bride” is a tale of woe about Blackbeard the Pirate’s wife, South Sea Sue. She meets a sad end as the ship sinks—until a diver 100 years later gets a scary surprise. “Never Kick a Ghost” is about mean man Sam Sniff’s comeuppance after he repeatedly kicks suspicious white apparitions during a walk through the graveyard. “The Big Slobbery Monster” taunts a child, “Look what I can do / with my long green fingers / and my floppy purple lips.” After the boy fails to escape the goofy monster, the creature shows what he can do as he strums his fingers over his mouth: “Blub-blub-a!” One chapter is a quick playground rhyme about witches, and another is a double page-spread with funny epitaphs that are difficult to decipher because the dark-gray text is displayed in varying typefaces on medium-gray headstones. Constantin’s mass-market–looking illustrations fail to add any oomph to this disappointing title.
Pass. (Early reader. 4-8)