cover image How to Scare a Ghost

How to Scare a Ghost

Jean Reagan, illus. by Lee Wildish. Knopf, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5247-0190-1

Reagan and Wildish (How to Babysit a Grandma) return with another how-to book, this time with a ghostly theme. With Halloween on the way, two brunette siblings set out to attract and “scare a ghost” by following a series of steps. Ghosts, Reagan explains, are drawn toward certain Halloween-y items and activities, such as “creepy pumpkins,” bobbing for apples, and scary noises. Items and tasks are clearly identified and labeled in Wildish’s light cartoons like steps in an instruction manual. When a ghost finally arrives, the children must determine if it’s real (does it walk or float?) and then begin their scaring. But the only thing that really scares their sweet-natured ghost is the vacuum cleaner. When it proves too frightening, the two take the ghost (dressed as a robot) trick-or-treating. This is a playful Halloween story for readers not ready for scarier fare. Ages 4–8. [em](Aug.) [/em]