cover image On Halloween Night

On Halloween Night

Ferida Wolff. Tambourine Books, $16 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-12972-9

A creepy counting lesson lies before readers who dare to take this picture-book journey through some haunted woods. Two boys follow a luminescent trail that leads past one witch stirring her brew, two cats clawing in a garbage can, three owls on the hunt, and so on, until they finally meet up with 13 prankish ghosts in the schoolyard. While the premise here seems harmless, Avendano's watercolors are realistic enough to make the doings seem a bit scary. Wolff and Kozielski use lots of vivid imagery, which Avendano brings to life in smoky nighttime tones of gray and brown. Unfortunately, the pace of the verse is often clunky, with a repeated line, ``oo-oo-oo-ooh,'' clumsily tacked on. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)