cover image The Most Haunted House in America

The Most Haunted House in America

Jarrett Dapier, illus. by Lee Gatlin. Abrams, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-5246-9

Based on personal experience drumming in costume at an Obama-presidency White House Halloween party, Dapier imagines a crew of google-eyed skeleton percussionists invited to a similar event. Though they know that “The White House is HAUNTED from top to toe!” even the squat skeletons are surprised by the plethora of resident ghouls, introduced in unevenly metered rhyming couplets: “Back in the hall and more spirits arrive:/ They step out of paintings like something ALIVE!/ Abe Lincoln appears in his stovepipe hat,/ scratching the chin of a giant-sized cat.” As Gatlin’s digitally enhanced pencil and ink drawings depict a cheerily eerie, off-the-chain soiree that sprawls from the White House’s lawn and interiors, the Obamas are shown welcoming everyone to boogie down, from costumed people of varying skin tones to Abigail Adams’s ghost. An extensive afterword discusses “consistently reported and verified ghost sightings” at the residence. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)