THE GRAVES FAMILY by Patricia Polacco


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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Polacco sets her wildest romp yet around an actual “haunted house” in her Michigan hometown. The arrival of Doug and Shalleaux Graves, along with their children, brings on one brouhaha after another in staid Union City. Shortly after young neighbors Seth and Sara find their new neighbors’ house crawling with giant spiders and scary tropical plants, Mrs. Graves’s pet giant Venus flytrap breaks up a Ladies’ Garden Club Tea, and then Mr. Graves’s seemingly miraculous hair restorer, developed in his own basement lab, makes all of the town’s leading citizens behave like cats. Just as an angry mob arrives to give the Graves what-for, so too does TV Decorating Show host Christopher Joel, defusing the situation by rapturously declaring the Graves’s home winner of the Fall Home Show. Polacco gives Mrs. Graves Bride-of-Frankenstein hair, and places her customary cast of dismayed grownups and rangy, level-headed children atop backgrounds of writhing tendrils and floods of glop. Despite a rather quick and tidy resolution, this is sure to elicit delighted cries of “Eeeewwww!” from young audiences, at Halloween or any other time. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-399-24034-9
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2003


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