cover image At the Old Haunted House

At the Old Haunted House

Helen Ketteman, illus. by Nate Wragg. Amazon/Two Lions, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4778-4769-5

Readers meet the residents of a spooky house atop a grave-lined hill by way of a riff on the counting tune “Over in the Meadow”: “At the old haunted house/ in a room with no sun/ lived a warty green witch/ and her wee witchy one.” Wragg’s background in animation shows in dramatically composed scenes lit with unholy shades of yellow and green, as well as the pale glow of moonlight. As Kettemen proceeds to 10, a werewolf family dances in a magenta library to tunes playing on a gramophone, gap-toothed mummies stir a burbling cauldron for their “mummy mommy” as trick-or-treaters peer in at them from outside, and furry fanged spiders spin “sticky webs/ in the dusty old den” while chandeliers sway in the background. A massive party fit for monsters and humans alike wraps up this entertaining Halloween adventure. Ages 5–8. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Aug.)