Only the most avid fans of Splat the Cat will cheer for this lift-the-flap Halloween story.
Cats Splat and Spike and their mouse friend, Seymour, have finished trick-or-treating except for one last house. Splat thinks it looks too scary, and Spike may have agreed, but Seymour runs right up to the seemingly haunted place. Every page of this book except for the first has a flap that opens either right, left, up or down. Such interactive features usually add an entertaining, interactive element to a story. Unfortunately, these flaps seem arbitrary rather than carefully planned to present a surprise; they are also not easily designed for young hands to intuitively manipulate. The story, though slim, consists of the two cats’ search for Seymour. As they go through the house, ghosts flit about, a spider casts a menacing shadow on the wall, and they come to a secret room full of vampire ducks. Odd sounds that gurgle, grumble, groan and “ker-klunk” add to the creepy gloom and grow increasingly louder. The reveal, however, is as anticlimactic as the flaps.
Given Splat’s popularity and the potential of a haunted house, this lackluster effort is a real disappointment. (Picture book. 3-6)