On a Windy Night

On a Windy Night

5.0 1
by Nancy Raines Day, George Bates
     
 

On a windy Halloween night, as a little boy makes his way home after trick-or-treating, he hears a voice:

“Cracklety-clack, bones in a sack. They could be yours—if you look back.” As his heart flip-flops with fear, the boy dashes through woods and fields that seem full of haunting shapes—owls, ghosts, skeletons, and more. The

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Overview

On a windy Halloween night, as a little boy makes his way home after trick-or-treating, he hears a voice:

“Cracklety-clack, bones in a sack. They could be yours—if you look back.” As his heart flip-flops with fear, the boy dashes through woods and fields that seem full of haunting shapes—owls, ghosts, skeletons, and more. The detailed illustrations are packed with visual tricks for children to discover. Are those skeletons or cornstalks? Ghostly hands or tree branches? The playful tone of the text makes this a perfect, not-too-scary read-aloud, with an enjoyable surprise ending.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Cracklety-clack, bones in a sack. They could be yours--if you look back," says a malevolent voice to a boy in a skeleton costume on his way home from trick-or-treating. Day (Flamingo's First Christmas) revels in Halloween's more frightening possibilities (though she avoids concrete mentions of the holiday), and her verse, while well-constructed, may in places put off very young or timid readers. "He reaches out and feels... a head!/ It doesn't move. It must be dead." (The head is actually a pumpkin, lying indolently on the ground with its tongue hanging out.) Bates's (Chicken Bedtime Is Really Early) pen-and-ink drawings push and pull, creating scariness with forceful hatching and eerie lighting. Clouds that first appear as puffy elephants, snails, and other nonthreatening shapes take more menacing form as the boy's fears grow; numerous other specters can be found in tree branches and blowing leaves, and when dancing skeletons in a cornfield seem to pursue the boy, he runs toward readers in terror. There's enough Halloween fright to satisfy adventurous young readers, and a comforting ending for those with jangled nerves. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A costumed boy walks home through the woods on Halloween night. As "Clouds hide the moon—/and/in/creeps/fright," the trick-or-treater starts to hear a dire warning: "CRACKLETY-CLACK, BONES IN A SACK./THEY COULD BE YOURS—IF YOU LOOK BACK." As he races though the field, his mind plays tricks on him and he mistakes cornstalks for dancing skeletons and a giant pumpkin for a head. As his fear escalates, the rhyming refrain appears in a larger font size. The tension builds as a menacing shadow "rubs against his legs." With a sigh of relief, the "hairy beast" is revealed to be the family cat. There is another surprise when "CRACKLETY-CLACK" is heard once more inside the house-this time coming from a mouse nibbling its way through the boy's candy bag. The crosshatched pen-and-ink illustrations have a spooky appeal. Swaying tree branches take the shape of a cat and clouds appear as dinosaurs and ghosts. A rhythmic, atmospheric read-aloud.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810939004
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2010
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
12.22(w) x 11.06(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Nancy Raines Day is a celebrated children’s-book author. She lives in St. Simons Island, Georgia. Read more about her at www.nancyrainesday.com.

George Bates is the illustrator of Abrams’s Chicken Bedtime Is Really Early. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit him online at www.georgebatesstudio.com

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