Over in the Hollow

Rebecca Dickinson, illus. by Stephan Britt. Chronicle, $15.99 (36p) ISBN 978-0-8118-5035-3
Dickinson (The 13 Nights of Halloween) reprises an earlier theme, recasting "Over in the Meadow" with enough ghoulish creatures to satisfy even the most diehard Halloween fans. Britt, a commercial artist turned illustrator, contributes retro spreads that cross Golden Books with zombie art; he excels in particular at conveying relationships between characters with animated facial expressions. Sixties typography and matte pages carry the nostalgia still further. Dickinson doesn't have to stretch too far to come up with variants on the song; her rhymes are sturdy and appealing: "Over in the hollow/ in a coffin on the floor,/ live a pale grandpa vampire/ and his little vampires four. ‘Bite!' groans the grandpa./ ‘We bite!' groan the four...." Britt smuggles in several jokes, placing a sunscreen called Bonetone (SPF 500) on the grandpa vampire's nightstand and a "Visit Transylvania" poster on the wall of their cellar. The Frankensteins stomp, the werewolves howl, and the skeletons boogie with an 11-piece band. Thirteen verses might even be a little too much Halloween—but it's only once a year. Ages 3—7. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 978-0-385-74620-5
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