cover image In the Haunted House

In the Haunted House

Eve Bunting. Clarion Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-51589-1

Four sneakered feet, two large and two small, tiptoe through a house chock-full of otherworldly creatures--a vampire, ghosts and a mummy, among others--in Bunting's second Halloween excursion. Like her Scary, Scary Halloween (which was illustrated by Jan Brett), this book features comically creepy rhymes (``Who's in the closet, dark as a tomb / Rattling his bones in the gloom-gloomy-gloom?''), a small, built-in mystery (how can such a haunted house be real ?) and a cheery surprise at the end (the owner of the big feet has been more frightened by the weird goings-on than has his little partner). Meddaugh's illustrations strike a nice balance between scary and silly, and include lots of rewards for observant readers: parents and art-wise children may note a homage to Picasso on one page. All in all, this winning addition to the Halloween bookshelf is sure to prompt as many giggles and shivers as the holiday itself. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)