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Skeleton for Dinner
     

Skeleton for Dinner

by Margery Cuyler, Will Terry (Illustrator)
 

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Big Witch and Little Witch have made stew, and now they want to have their friends for dinner! But when Skeleton mistakes the guest list for a menu, he takes off running, and soon Ghost and Ghoul join him too! But poor Little Witch has no idea there’s a misunderstanding. Luckily there’s one creature in the haunted forest who can help everyone figure it all

Overview

Big Witch and Little Witch have made stew, and now they want to have their friends for dinner! But when Skeleton mistakes the guest list for a menu, he takes off running, and soon Ghost and Ghoul join him too! But poor Little Witch has no idea there’s a misunderstanding. Luckily there’s one creature in the haunted forest who can help everyone figure it all out.

This spooky and silly read-aloud is just right for Halloween.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bathed in a spooky graveyard glow, Big Witch and Little Witch brew a stew and prepare a list of the guests to invite for dinner. What follows is a kind of Halloween version of Chicken Little, as timid Skeleton misunderstands, believing he’s an ingredient, not a guest. He dashes off to warn two friends—Ghost, a wispy girl, and Ghoul, who resembles Quasimodo. It’s a familiar joke, but Terry’s illustrations give the cast of characters distinctive looks and personalities (they almost resemble rubbery toys). Despite the threat of death by cauldron, neither contributor lets things get too frightening as the story works its way to a happy ending for all. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

"The occasionally rhyming verse, along with some changes in text size and font, creates a natural rhythm for Halloween-themed read-alouds." The Horn Book Magazine, September/October 2013

"This book is made for reading aloud and will be a great addition to a library's Halloween collection, but it's also a fun title that children will enjoy at any time of the year." Booklist, October 10, 2013

"Despite the threat of death by cauldron, neither contributor lets things get too frightening as the story works its way to a happy ending for all." Publishers Weekly, July 19, 2013

"Veteran Cuyler keeps the text flowing and sets a just-right pace for reading aloud. . . Skeleton's cool white and Ghost's translucent wash of white makes them glow on the page. . . Make sure to tuck in to this delicious tale." Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2013

Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
Big Witch and Little Witch brew a stew, and they want to invite Skeleton for dinner. However, he overhears them and thinks that they actually want to put him, along with his friends Ghost and Ghoul, into the stew. He sees a list of their names on a note that reads “For Dinner.” He races to Ghost’s house to warn her, and they both run on to warn Ghoul. They decide to hide from the witches. Little Witch flies out to invite their friends for dinner, but she finds that they have disappeared. She goes back home and begins to cry. Crow sees the note and thinks that he knows what is wrong. He goes in search of the witches’ friends and eventually sees footprints leading into the woods. He finds them hiding in a big tree and explains that the note meant that the witches were inviting them for dinner, not having them for dinner. Skeleton, Ghost, and Ghoul take some poison ivy to add to the stew, and they all have a wonderful time eating the stew together. Terry’s illustrations have just the right touch and make this fun story a delightful sight to see and read. The characters are adorable, and the dark and mysterious scenes combined with these characters make this book a good choice for Halloween and beyond. It could be read aloud to young children, and beginning readers may be able to read the fairly simple sentences by themselves. Reviewer: Vicki Foote AGERANGE: Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
12/01/2013
K-Gr 2—"We must have Skeleton for dinner," says Big Witch to Little Witch as they brew a stew. But what does that mean? While the witches want their friends Skeleton, Ghoul, and Ghost to eat a meal, Skeleton assumes they will be the meal. His subsequent flight, the witches' disappointment, and a linguistic intervention by Crow all lead up to a delicious ending. The lightweight premise and thin plot are occasionally enhanced by lively and lilting language, as in the stew recipe: "shark fins and snake skins, spider silk and centaur's milk, catfish whiskers and banshee blisters." Terry's intensely colored cartoons are childlike and not the least bit scary, even though they effectively convey a Halloween mood. The final scene feels more like a cookout than a spooky gathering. Skeleton for Dinner will be an apt selection during discussions of ghoulish Halloween dining as well as the quirks of the English language.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Mother and daughter witch want to have skeleton for dinner. Is he on the menu or intended to be a guest? Big Witch and Little Witch are proud of their yummy stew full of delightfully disgusting ingredients, such as "shark fins and snake skins, spider silk and centaur's milk, catfish whiskers and banshee blisters." Little Witch makes a list of the friends she wants to invite for dinner. She writes "Dinner" at the top, with Ghost, Ghoul and Skeleton below it and tacks it to a tree. When Skeleton reads it, he flies into a panic. Veteran Cuyler keeps the text flowing and sets a just-right pace for reading aloud. Poor Skeleton "rat-a-bat-tat[s] down the hill… / and jingle-jangle[s]" off to warn first Ghost and then Ghoul about what he fears the witches are planning. Terry chooses deep blue-greens and dark craggy trees to create the nightscape. Skeleton's cool white and Ghost's translucent wash of white make them glow on the page, whereas the warmer tones used for Ghoul and the bright green of Little Witch provide refreshing contrast. When Little Witch fails to find her friends to tell them about the dinner party, her despair sends Crow flying to the rescue. A poison-ivy bouquet, full bowls of stew and happy friends bring the story to a satisfying close. Make sure to tuck in to this delicious tale. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807573983
Publisher:
Whitman, Albert & Company
Publication date:
09/01/2013
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
542,568
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.38(d)
Lexile:
AD520L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Margery Cuyler has worked in publishing for more than twenty years and is the author of many books for children, including 100th Day Worries and The Bumpy Little Pumpkin. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with her husband, their two sons, and two cats. Her website is www.margerycuyler.com. Will Terry has illustrated more than twenty picture books including The Three Little Gators and Little Rooster's Diamond Button. He teaches illustration part-time at Utah Valley State College, creates ebook apps, and lives in Cedar Hills, Utah, with his wife and three sons. His website is www.willterry.com.

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