Annie's parents caution her against going to the "creepy old Montgomery Mansion," but she's not one to turn down a dare. "Annie was warned... but Annie wasn't scared," Krosoczka (Baghead) intones atmospherically as slanting, curving spreads depict her slinking down deserted streets, ducking tree branches, checking over her shoulder and beaming her flashlight at a black cat: "But Annie wasn't afraid of anything! After all, she was born on Halloween night." At last, she approaches the house's dark door-and a gatefold opens on a surprise birthday party. Krosoczka advances his story with sly agility, adding a subtle visual clue, too. A delicious mix of suspense and wit. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Brave Annie is determined to go to the "creepy old Montgomery mansion" on Halloween night. As she set out with her flashlight, she "wasn't afraid of anything." But as she walked along, there were some peculiarities. When she crossed the churchyard, she felt something tickle the back of her neck. She was relieved to discover it was only the leaves falling from the trees. When she arrived at the mansion, a sign on the door told her not to open it. She did. Inside were all her friends in costume scaring her and surprising her with a birthday party. Children whose birthdays are on Halloween will enjoy this just spooky enough story. Annie's flashlight is used effectively throughout the illustrations. A sense of the wind blowing, the peculiar perspectives and the dark colors give it an eerie look. 2003, Knopf,
PreS-Gr 3-Annie is warned not to go to an old mansion on Halloween night because of bats and spiders, but a friend taunts her, "I dare you to go!" Of course she does, experiencing some frightening moments on the way. She sees something out of the corner of her eye: "Was it a bat?" She feels something prickly on the back of her neck: "Was it a spider?" What are those whispers she hears as she climbs up the front stairs, and where did those cautionary signs come from? The brief text is appropriately scary, and the resolution of each suspenseful moment requires a page turn, culminating in a delightful foldout surprise as plucky Annie enters the "haunted" house. Krosoczka's richly textured, double-page cartoon paintings, executed in a dark palette filled with multidirectional brush strokes and ominous-looking shadows, create an eerie Halloween night atmosphere. The effective use of perspective causes houses and glaring street lights to overwhelm Annie and the huge mansion to loom over her, its entrance stairway appearing to go forever upward. The hand-lettered, spidery-looking negative print is placed on dark ground and grows larger when frightening questions are posed. This deliciously scary offering, paired with Linda Williams's The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything (HarperCollins, 1986), is guaranteed to haunt Halloween storyhours.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Glow-in-the-dark display type on the cover really sets the mood for this Halloween ramble. Resolutely setting out into the night in the wake of her friend James's dare, Annie makes her way down a deserted street, past spooky shadows and blowing leaves, to an ill-favored mansion. Braving rustles and whispers, she pushes open the door-a gatefold-and the lights blaze on, revealing a roomful of costumed "creatures," including James, now sporting vampire teeth, loudly wishing her a happy birthday. Annie's wide-eyed, unchanging look of worry gives the art a wooden feel, but Krosoczka expertly heightens both the suspense and the climactic, well-designed release. Young audiences will shiver with pleasure. (Picture book. 6-8)
A delicious mix of suspense and wit.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred
“A prime read-aloud candidate.”—The Bulletin
“Young audiences will shiver with pleasure.”—Kirkus Reviews