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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Haunted House, Haunted Mouse, written by Judy Cox and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler. Holiday House, Thomas Allen & Son, 2011. $19.95 ages 4 and up

"The sack swayed like a
pirate ship in a gale.
Mouse's tummy roiled.
His head spun.
Poor seasick Mouse!
The next time the ghost
dropped her sack,
Mouse staggered out."

Children seem especially to love three days during their early years...their birthday, Christmas and often next in line, Halloween. There is so much excitement over dressing up, trick or treating and candy, candy, candy. I think we are all noticing over the past few years that the numbers are dwindling, and in the newspaper these days we read of cancelled parades and afternoon parties. But, it seems that each year brings one or two books that are a welcome addition to any collection of books to share at this time of year.

You may have met Mouse before...his first story concerned Thanksgiving (One is a Feast for Mouse, 2009). He's back for a second adventure in this magical book that is sure to please children looking for a Halloween tale. Mouse is hiding when the doorbell rings. He is intrigued by the apparitions at the door...and Dad is giving them candy! When one of the candy sacks falls and spills some of its treasure, Mouse is enticed into making a move. He finds himself in nibbler's nirvana. He makes good use of his time there, although he is concerned that he appears to be moving. A hole in the bag allows a look at the outside world, and he doesn't notice that the tote is leaking some of its goodies....luckily!

Mouse makes his escape only to be faced with a thunderstorm, an endless search for home and a stay in an old, empty house which creaks and groans and does its best to frighten Mouse. He's plenty brave until faced with finding his way home. Perhaps you can guess how he gets help.

The inspired illustrations that Jeffrey Ebbeler creates for this haunted tale will have its readers giggling with glee and anxious for their own Halloween escapades. That's what we want books to do! 

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