Halloween Good Night

Rebecca Grabill, illus. by Ella Okstad. Atheneum, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5061-4
A parade of monsters gathers for some hijinks in this delightful bedtime riff on the “Over in the Meadow” nursery rhyme. Counting up to 10, newcomer Grabill introduces the creatures as they head to an unknown destination: “Yonder in the boneyard,/ where the bats swoop and dive,/ breathes an old granny zombie/ with her peeling zomblings five.” Direct address heightens reader anticipation (“Waiting in your closet for your bedtime once again”), but when the tiny werewolves, witches, and other creatures burst into a girl’s bedroom, she’s awake in her bed and not the least bit frightened. Grabill makes an oft-adapted rhyme feel utterly fresh, thanks to some excellent vocabulary choices and the funny exchanges between monsters young and old. Okstad’s scraggily rendered monsters are pink cheeked and cuddle worthy—the book captures the mischievous fun of Halloween, without the accompanying terror. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Victoria Wells Arms, Wells Arms Literary. Illustrator’s agency: the Organisation. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/26/2017
Release date: 07/25/2017
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