How to Haunt a House

Albert Whitman. Sept. 2021. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807534267.
K-Gr 2–Halloween is fast approaching, and three young ghosts have one more test to pass before they will be declared ready for the day. Madam Gray assigns three houses for the ghosts to haunt, each one more challenging than the last. Using a series of skills perfected in class, Groana, Moana (not to be confused with the Disney character), and Shrieky work together to achieve their goal. When their practiced tactics fail to work on the final house, however, the three classmates must examine the problem from another angle to succeed. This rhyming Halloween story is at once enjoyable and educational, showcasing the power of teamwork and tenacity against the backdrop of a playful haunting. Rhyming couplets give the narrative a singsong beat. Though the lines are not consistent in meter, the story is easy to follow; the varied pacing breaks up the narrative into distinct segments while keeping readers engaged. Digitally rendered illustrations feature iconic Halloween decor, from purple, black, and orange hues to a full moon casting a glow over crooked, leafless tree branches. All of the characters have a cartoonlike quality, increasing the accessibility of the story while limiting any truly frightening moments. Detailed images will encourage readers to closely examine the illustrations.
VERDICT Add this to Halloween collections, and use in group and individual settings.–Mary Lanni, formerly at Denver P.L.

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