cover image The Scariest Book Ever

The Scariest Book Ever

Bob Shea. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4847-3046-1

Shea’s ghost narrator talks a good game about being brave, but readers will see right through him—especially after he spills orange juice on himself and spends the rest of the book “naked.” (In a marvelous design touch, spot gloss is used to make the ghost barely visible.) The ghost sends readers to check out the “scary dark woods” outside, which turn out to be home to a chipper rabbit who organizes a costume party. After finally venturing outdoors, the ghost gets the fright of his afterlife when he sees the partygoers in costume. “Why didn’t you warn me?” he scolds readers. “Are you trying to scare me more to death?” Playing a candy colored palette against stark blacks and whites, Shea’s chic, retro graphics gleefully balance fright and fun: even amid pumpkin picking, costume making, and craft projects, the forest’s trees look as sharp as knives. Ages 6–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (July)