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Miss Smith and the Haunted Library

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Overview

A wonderful Halloween adventure with Miss Smith and her students

Miss Smith's students know to expect the unexpected when she reads from her magical book. This time, Miss Smith takes her kids to the eerie library down the block and introduces them to the weird librarian, Virginia Creeper. But per usual, storytime is never ordinary when reading from Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook. And what starts out as a run-of-the-mill field trip soon ...

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Overview

A wonderful Halloween adventure with Miss Smith and her students

Miss Smith's students know to expect the unexpected when she reads from her magical book. This time, Miss Smith takes her kids to the eerie library down the block and introduces them to the weird librarian, Virginia Creeper. But per usual, storytime is never ordinary when reading from Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook. And what starts out as a run-of-the-mill field trip soon becomes a full-out monster bash!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
When Zack's class visits the public library, Miss Smith takes along her Incredible Storybook. The students are introduced to the librarian Virginia Creeper. When she is asked to recommend some spooky stories, she consults the book Miss Smith has brought. As she reads "a little from (her) favorite scary stories," the characters pop out of the book and begin to populate the library. The students are horror-stricken by the Headless Horseman, the Hound of the Baskervilles, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frankenstein, and many others. When Virginia Creeper stops reading and passes out cookies and cider, a party atmosphere takes over with the students and the characters intermingling and enjoying themselves. A reminder that the seniors' book club will be entering the library soon prompts Virginia Creeper to ask Miss Smith and her class to bring the room back to order. According to the rules of Miss Smith's book, they "have to finish each story so that the characters will go back into the book." Zack reads the last page of each story and the characters return to the book. As they leave the library, however, there is one monster who follows them back to school. The premise is fun and Miss Smith's looks are as unconventional as her book. The illustrations have real eye appeal. However, the monsters and other scary characters are primarily from adult books. There is a list at the end of the book—"Where to find Scary Creatures: A Guide by Virginia Creeper"—that lists the titles of the books where the characters can be found. While the characters might make great Halloween costumes, these titles, except for a very few, are inappropriate for the age group. Furthermore, I have an issue withthe implication that to "finish a book" one only has to read the last page. Miss Smith and Zack were first introduced in Garland's Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook (2003). Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5–One fall day, Miss Smith takes her class to the public library to meet the librarian, Virginia Creeper. The scene is set as they enter the building, which looks a bit like a haunted house. The librarian reads spooky stories from Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook, which brings the characters to life. Soon the children are surrounded by frightening figures such as Frankenstein, Count Dracula, Captain Hook, and the Jabberwocky. They enjoy themselves so much that the youngsters forget what time it is and then must rush to finish each story so the characters can go back into the book. In all the chaos, it seems one story was overlooked. So far, Zack is the only student to notice a creature lurking nearby. Falling leaves and pictures of ghosts, pumpkins, and witches complete the autumnal scene. Halloween can be inferred, but it is not mentioned by name. Each page is full of clever details, and the characters have unique characteristics, from the librarian’s bright purple hair and dress, to Miss Smith’s stand-up red hair, to the book characters playing out their roles. The students in particular are expressive. One page shows them with their mouths open while the Headless Horseman looms above. The story captures the joy of reading and is sure to be a hit.–Lori A. Guenthner, Baltimore County Public Library, Randallstown, MD
Kirkus Reviews
When Miss Smith takes her class to a spooky old library, the kids are dubious; they get downright anxious when librarian Ms Creeper reads a few characters out of Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook: the Hound of the Baskervilles, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dracula, etc. Fright turns to fun when Ms Creeper passes out cookies and cider. Garland's third Miss Smith outing is more fizzle than anything else, however. The target audience's familiarity with any of the bad guys not in a Disney movie is tenuous at best, their lack of context rendering much of the tale meaningless. It's rare for books about the magic of reading to be themselves magical, and this, alas, is no exception. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142421222
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/16/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 244,539
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.57 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Garland is the author/illustrator of numerous books for young readers, including Americana Adventure. He lives in Patterson, New York, with his wife and their three children.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    We Love Miss Smith

    My young three-year-old daughter adored this book from the first read. She was instantly fascinated by Virginia Creeper, the Incredible Storybook Characters and really everyone in the book. She loves looking for signs of Jabberwocky from cover-to-cover. This book gave us the opportunity to discuss the word 'character' means, the main character etc and now she is using the word when discussing other books. Mostly, this book is just plain fun. Three cheers for Miss Smith - hope there are more in the series in the future.

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