Over in the Hollow
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Over in the Hollow

4.2 4
by Rebecca Dickinson, Stephan Britt

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Over in the hollow, where the cobwebs are spun,
Live a giant mother spider and her little spidey one.

Who else lives over in the hollow? A papa mummy and his little mummies two, a mama owl and her little owlets three...and more! And they all have something to say, whether it's to hoot, to howl, to hiss, or to yowl. Inspired by Olive A. Wadsworth's


Over in the hollow, where the cobwebs are spun,
Live a giant mother spider and her little spidey one.

Who else lives over in the hollow? A papa mummy and his little mummies two, a mama owl and her little owlets three...and more! And they all have something to say, whether it's to hoot, to howl, to hiss, or to yowl. Inspired by Olive A. Wadsworth's classic counting rhyme, "Over in the Meadow," Over in the Hollow is a spooky take on the popular Appalachian poem. A wonderful read-aloud, the playful rhyme and repetition will delight readers of all ages who enjoy a funnot scaryapproach to the world of ghosts, werewolves, and the like.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dickinson (The 13 Nights of Halloween) reprises an earlier theme, recasting "Over in the Meadow" with enough ghoulish creatures to satisfy even the most diehard Halloween fans. Britt, a commercial artist turned illustrator, contributes retro spreads that cross Golden Books with zombie art; he excels in particular at conveying relationships between characters with animated facial expressions. Sixties typography and matte pages carry the nostalgia still further. Dickinson doesn't have to stretch too far to come up with variants on the song; her rhymes are sturdy and appealing: "Over in the hollow/ in a coffin on the floor,/ live a pale grandpa vampire/ and his little vampires four. ‘Bite!' groans the grandpa./ ‘We bite!' groan the four...." Britt smuggles in several jokes, placing a sunscreen called Bonetone (SPF 500) on the grandpa vampire's nightstand and a "Visit Transylvania" poster on the wall of their cellar. The Frankensteins stomp, the werewolves howl, and the skeletons boogie with an 11-piece band. Thirteen verses might even be a little too much Halloween—but it's only once a year. Ages 3—7. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
This is an enjoyable, but not scary addition to a Halloween collection.

"Author Rebecca Dickinson clearly had fun giving the classic children's song Over in the Meadow a Halloween makeover, while S. Britt's illustrations burst with wild action and color."

"...enough ghoulish creatures to satisfy even the most diehard Halloween fans."

Children's Literature - Michele C. Hughes
This seasonal treasure is full of whimsical monsters and delightful refrains, with the bonus of counting practice. On each two-page spread, a different Halloween-themed creature does a call-and-response refrain with its offspring, and with each page turn comes a higher number of children. It starts with a spider telling her "little spidey one" to spin, to which the daughter replies "I spin." In successive pages, mummies, owls, vampires, bats, and others instruct their children, and the children respond in a way that readers can predict and join in. The responses lend themselves to robust participation, with phrases like "We eek," "We flap," and "We stomp!" which will engage the reader's whole body over the course of the book. Readable rhymes and repetition make this book a pleasure to read aloud. Vibrant illustrations turn potentially scary monsters into humorous caregivers of little ones, offering lots of details to captivate readers and reward them for paying attention. Reviewer: Michele C. Hughes
School Library Journal
PreS-K—A Halloween-themed counting book inspired by "Over in the Meadow." Mummies, owls, bats, and more help readers count to 13. "Over in the hollow,/wrapped in old sheets and glue,/live an old, moldy mummy/and his little mummies two./'LURCH!' moans the mummy./'WE LURCH!' moan the two./And they lurch into the mist,/wrapped in old sheets and glue." The rhyme and rhythm flow well, making this a good choice for reading aloud. The mixed-media illustrations have a retro cartoon feel and are spooky, but not scary—just like the text. The large pictures make it easy to count along, and kids will enjoy the funny details. This should be a hit at Halloween storytimes.—Laura Stanfield, Campbell County Public Library, Ft. Thomas, KY

Product Details

Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.60(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Rebecca Dickinson is the author of 5 books. She lives near Seattle.

S. Britt's illustrations have been featured in magazines, newspapers, advertisements, books, greeting cards, posters, and CD covers. He is the illustrator of School Years: A Family Keepsake of School Memories. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Customer Reviews

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Over in the Hollow 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now we are BIG into Halloween at this house (boys, 3 and 4) and this is a delightful picture book with all your Halloween favorites: mummies, vampires, bats, ghosts, and more. (Score 1) The illustrations are cute but not sugary sweet. They are detailed and give us much to talk about.(Score 2) (We even get in some math lessons as they count 1 spider, 2 mummies, 3 owls,... all the way to spooky 13 ghosts! -- Score 3) The verse is a Halloween adaptation to the song "Over in the Meadow." Since they already know the melody, they were able to pick up the words very quickly. In fact, both have already memorized the words and read this back to me. (Score 4) Finally, we love music around here and I love hearing the boys singing this book as they go about their day. (Score 5) It is the first book they pick up in the morning and the last to put down at night. And if we forget to take it with us, we know it by heart!
Panama_John More than 1 year ago
The artwork is fun and bright. The images are very "kid friendly" and carry a fun, creepy halloween feeling at the same time, lots of bright colors and smiling faces on traditionaly scary subjects. the story, such as it is seems rather pointless, the verse is forced and not very elegant. I would only suggest it to very young children for the artwork alone. This is the kind of artwork anyone would love to decorate their house, or in my case, my apartment with on halloween.
Melody_Fair More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful book! The illustrations are truly extraordinary--rich colors and a fantastic amount of detail to keep one's eyes busy. Each little character is infused with such personality and charm, and so far my nephew has gotten a kick out of me reading and imitating along to the pictures. Really some of the most enjoyable monsters (ghosts and creatures) I've seen, and it is a delight to turn the page and pick out a favorite every time. And what a perfect way to get the little ones prepared to start counting their treats come Halloween!
Featherbed More than 1 year ago
A great book for young and old! The illustrations are BEYOND amazing! Richly colored and full of funny details to discover. If you like looking at good things and hate being bored then you best order this book with speedy shipping! Or slap on your jetpants and whoosh on over to see your nearest bookseller! Don't forget your helmet!