cover image That One Spooky Night

That One Spooky Night

Dan Bar-el and David Huyck. Kids Can, $16.95 (80p) ISBN 978-1-55453-751-8

In this Halloween-themed triptych of stories, children discover that sometimes those things that go bump in the night are indeed worth steering clear of. After a nicely moody intro about the spooky something that happened “that night like no other,” readers are presented with Giselle, a redheaded Halloween fanatic who can’t wait to put on her witch’s costume. Of course, once that happens, she finds that not only is the broom real and too hard to control, but it belongs to an actual witch. In “10,000 Tentacles Under the Sea,” two brothers who are taking their costumes (Aqua Ranger and Aqua Ninja) way too seriously and loudly for their father are surprised to uncover the depths of watery danger magically accessible via their bathtub. The longest piece, “The Fang Gang,” is last but simplest: a group of friends who specialize in scary costumes that frighten kids out of their candy are lured into a haunted house by some real monsters. Bar-el’s writing is functional but no more, while Huyck’s art has a wispy, immature charm to it. There’s no real Goosebumps-style spookiness; the mood is gentle in the extreme, the sort of thing that parents might approve of. Whether kids will is another story. Ages 7–up. (Sept.)