cover image HALLOWEEN NIGHTS: Twenty-One Spooktacular Poems

HALLOWEEN NIGHTS: Twenty-One Spooktacular Poems

Charles Ghigna, Adam McCauley, , illus. by Adam McCauley. . Running Press, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7624-1552-6

Ghigna's (Animal Trunk) somewhat attenuated, workmanlike poetry collection takes aim at grown-ups, siblings and bedtime fears. One costume-seeker laments, "I've searched through stores all over town/ For one old scary ghoul,/ But none have masks that look just like/ Our principal at school." Another child stays up late: "A shadow drifted down the stairs/ Appearing pale and calm,/ But when it shouted, 'Go to bed!'/ I knew it was my mom." McCauley (The Lima Bean Monster) accents his high-contrast black-and-white illustrations with jolts of purple, orange and green, but like the sing-song stanzas—and despite the arresting jacket art—the stylized designs within lack convincing energy. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)