cover image Did You Say Ghosts?

Did You Say Ghosts?

Richard Michelson. MacMillan Publishing Company, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-02-766915-2

In this good-humored picture book, a parent pounces on a child's fear of the things that go bump in the night and transforms it into a game. The narrator, in verse, banteringly dismisses the existence of ghosts, then adds ``the werewolves' bay-- / AIYAAA . . . / would scare a ghost away!'' At which point all dread of ghosts cedes to a sudden terror of werewolves (``Did you say werewolves?''). Each new apparition is quickly supplanted by another, even more frightening entity. The rhyme hurtles along, full of glee, punctuated by the child's loud shouts of dread-filled surprise. But it is obvious that the child is now delighted by each arrival, egging on the adult for the next in the gallery of ghouls. Oversize watercolors, which combine an effective mix of somber grays and splashes of bright paint, are both eerie and exotic, and convey--spiritedly--the giddy intrigue of the text. Ages 6-up. (Sept.)