In this hair-raising tour of a mansion and cornfield, readers confront creatures of the night. Druce (Witch, Witch Come to My Party) generates suspense with rhyming questions that are answered with a trembling turn of the page. A diaphanous form lurks behind a broken window ("Who can walk through closed doors/ with a thud and a thump?/ `I can,' said the ghost"), bats swoop and a skeleton emerges from a crypt. Wenzel's (The Christmas Path) naturalistic watercolors and tilted fields of vision enhance the unsettling ambience. Ages 4-8. (July) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Simple rhymes ask questions about the creatures and characters that hang about on the night that is supposed to frighten, at least a little. Witches and ghosts, owls, spiders and bats, all are playing their parts, but the children are ready to have the most fun of all. Wenzel's double page scenes depict each character but also include a clue pointing to the next, an extra youngsters should enjoy. His watercolors are packed with typical images of Halloween produced with a naturalism that adds to their effectiveness, and with details that encourage scrutiny. 2001, Rising Moon, $14.95. Ages 3 to 6. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
K-Gr 2-Riddles introduce the characters associated with Halloween, including a witch ("On Halloween Night/when it's dark and scary/who can swoop through the air/with a swish and a flurry?") and a jack-o'-lantern ("On a darkened porch/when the moon is low/who can light a smile/with a shine and a glow?"). Watercolor illustrations of haunted houses, graveyards, ghosts, and trick-or-treating children establish an appropriately spooky mood; however, the occasionally awk- ward rhymes can make reading aloud difficult.-Shara Alpern, The Free Library of Philadelphia Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
The usual Halloween suspects come out in mildly menacing guises to participate in this simple, rhymed sequence of questions and answers-basically "Who can? I can." In Wenzel's misty watercolors, a witch swoops over moonlit stands of gnarled, leafless trees toward a ramshackle haunted mansion, bats flutter amidst rustling cornstalks, an owl hoots, a skeleton clambers over tumbled gravestones, but "All in their costumes, / ready for fun, / who can frighten / every one?" "WE CAN," responds a porchful of trick-or-treaters, grimacing and wriggling stubby fingers. Though there are no escorting adults in sight, the conventional, decidedly un-mysterious imagery captures the modern tameness of this ancient holiday, and is likely to induce more smiles than shivers in younger children. "(Picture book. 4-6)"