What begins as a lyrical bedtime book featuring a friendly, freckled ghost evolves into a gentle rhyming interactive story for not-so-sleepyheads.
Lush language describes a spooky, dilapidated setting where “a family of ghosts” lives. Boo is the “littlest” and can finally stay up late and go a-haunting. After a rollicking evening of games with the big ghosts, Boo and his mama return home. When Boo protests that he is not tired enough to sleep, Mama suggests he “listen to the sounds of the house.” Once his eyes are closed, he can hear the ghosts whooshing, bats flapping, footsteps tapping, spiders clicking, a clock ticking. The thrice-repeated noises get more boisterous and potentially scary: Witches cackle, skeletons rattle, monsters moan, wolves howl. But always there is the gentle, reassuring sound of the ghosts’ whoosh. Leick’s illustrations with muted colors and soft textures feature amiable, transparent human-headed ghosts who cavort and cuddle on full-bleed pages. This is most successful on double-page spreads, less so in the frameless side-by-side pages, especially where the gutter cuts off an owl’s wing.
Quibbles aside, this is a sweet tale for young preschoolers getting into the Halloween spirit. Similar tales abound, so purchase as needed. (Picture book. 2-4)