Haunted House, Haunted Mouse

8 min. Dist. by Dreamscape. 2015. $38.99. ISBN 9781681416625.
PreS-Gr 3—It's Halloween night, and when Mouse sees costumed kids ringing doorbells and receiving candy, he decides to go after some treats, too. He jumps into a paper trick-or-treat bag and has his fill of lollipops, chocolate bars, and sour balls before nibbling a hole in the bag so he can see where the children are heading next. When an unexpected thunderstorm sends Mouse running for cover, he scampers into an old, abandoned house. At every turn, he hears rattling bones and muffled noises and sees pale, floating shapes. Mouse isn't scared, though. In the shimmery moonlight, he realizes the sounds are coming from wind chimes and a croaking frog and the shapes are fluttering curtains. Following a trail of candy that leaked from his bag, Mouse returns home to have a Halloween party of his own. Eerie instrumental background music sets the tone for this holiday story by Judy Cox, and the well-paced narration is enhanced by the additional sounds of creaky doors, rumbling thunder, and pouring rain. The muted colors of the acrylic illustrations are perfect for an autumn tale, and the darker colored scenes are especially fitting when Mouse enters the haunted house.
VERDICT This production will be perfect for early elementary school viewers in search of a sweet, not scary Halloween adventure.

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