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SPOOKIER THAN A GHOST by Karen Gray Ruelle


by Karen Gray Ruelle & illustrated by Karen Gray Ruelle

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2001
ISBN: 0-8234-1667-4
Publisher: Holiday House

Harry and his younger sister Emily anticipate Halloween by planning their costumes, decorating the house, and preparing treats in four easy-to-read chapters. Ruelle’s characters (all cats) have a comfortably sweet look, and their Halloween preparations exhibit all the fun of the holiday and little of its forbidding roots. The title refers to Emily’s plan for her costume. She has declared that it will be spookier than a ghost as well as prettier than a butterfly and bigger than a tree, but what it will be, exactly, remains a mystery. Harry creates his dinosaur costume from craft paper, though he needs Emily’s help to fashion the paper-bag head for the dinosaur. For her own costume, Emily retreats to her room with a sheet, paper, cardboard, string, paint, tape, glue, and other supplies. When she appears on Halloween night, she is in tears and disappointed with her achievement, and it takes Harry to help her see her winged surprise costume as something quite special. Children whose best efforts haven’t produced exactly the imagined result will sympathize with Emily. The ending is quite agreeable—Harry and Emily net an enormous haul of Halloween candy—and the whole suggests a pleasant antidote to prepackaged Halloween celebrations. (Easy reader. 4-8)