It's all about the costume in Karen Gray Ruelle's Spookier Than a Ghost. A brother and sister pair work out the costume kinks, coming up with an outfit that surprises everyone. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Harry and his sister Emily are looking forward to Halloween. Harry loves the treats and Emily the costumes. She has big plans this year and wants her costume to be a real surprise. There is a lot to do before the big day¾they helped Mom bake cookies, decorate lollipops with ghosts, and when Dad draws spooky pictures, they tape them on the windows. The whole family takes part in carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns. Harry works on his dinosaur costume and with Emily's help it turns out just great. Emily, however is not happy¾her costume didn't turn out as she wished. Harry offers consolation and because of his support and kindness, Emily earns lots of extra treats which she naturally shares with her brother. The illustrations are delightful and appear on every spread of this easy-reader. What is a particular treat for readers is a story that emphasizes sibling solidarity and support rather than rivalry. A "Holiday House Reader," Level 2. 2001, Holiday House, $14.95. Ages 6 to 8. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 1-2-In four chapters, this imaginative easy-reader takes Harry and Emily through the month of October and chronicles their preparations for Halloween. They carve jack-o'-lanterns and talk about their favorite related events. However, the plot hinges on their costumes. Harry wants to be a dinosaur. Emily's costume is a surprise. She gives her brother some hints-spookier than a ghost, prettier than a butterfly. What will she be? Ruelle has crafted an easy-reader that will delight children and help them get in the holiday mood. Her accompanying illustrations of this supportive feline family nicely complement the story, and her renditions of the costumes are wonderful.-Shara Alpern, The Free Library of Philadelphia Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Harry and his younger sister Emily anticipate Halloween by planning their costumes, decorating the house, and preparing treats in four easy-to-read chapters. Ruelle's characters (all cats) have a comfortably sweet look, and their Halloween preparations exhibit all the fun of the holiday and little of its forbidding roots. The title refers to Emily's plan for her costume. She has declared that it will be spookier than a ghost as well as prettier than a butterfly and bigger than a tree, but what it will be, exactly, remains a mystery. Harry creates his dinosaur costume from craft paper, though he needs Emily's help to fashion the paper-bag head for the dinosaur. For her own costume, Emily retreats to her room with a sheet, paper, cardboard, string, paint, tape, glue, and other supplies. When she appears on Halloween night, she is in tears and disappointed with her achievement, and it takes Harry to help her see her winged surprise costume as something quite special. Children whose best efforts haven't produced exactly the imagined result will sympathize with Emily. The ending is quite agreeable-Harry and Emily net an enormous haul of Halloween candy-and the whole suggests a pleasant antidote to prepackaged Halloween celebrations. (Easy reader. 4-8)