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Friday, October 20, 2017

Magic for Sale, written by Carrie Clickard and illustrated by John Shelley. Holiday House, Thomas Allen & Son. 2017. $24.95 ages 5 and up

"It's a GHOST!"
"It's ALIVE!"
"Run awaaayyyyyy!"
Georgie giggled,
"Wait! You can't be scared.
You're the reason
I got double-dared!"
The ghost poked out his head.
"I can't help being dead.
But scary? Not me!"
he declared."

Has anyone ever dared you to do something that terrified you? Did you do it? It seems the perfect setup for a story to be shared at Halloween, doesn't it?

Georgie McQuist is on the receiving end of a double dare, and he is brave enough to take it.

"And though all the town's children had tried,
the shop specter had never been spied.
Georgie'd been double dared
so he came well prepared ...
He was going ghost hunting inside!

Creeaaakkk ... "

It is magic after all. Could you resist seeing what might be inside a magic-filled shop? Georgie, apparently, cannot. He sneaks in, hides until the place has closed down, and promptly falls through a trap door into a hidden room or two. There he meets the ghost whose job it is to count 'every treasure and tomb'. The awful, gloomy place! So, Georgie offers aid to the inept and disorganized specter. Together they count countless things:

"Tarot cards and crystal balls,
a ghost to haunt your
castle's halls,
snakes pulled from Medusa's hair,
a map to find a pirate's lair,
freeze-dried ghoul
and dragon drool,
a kraken for your swimming pool ..."

The list goes on, until they have finally completed the task. Happy, Georgie is ready to head for home when Miss Pustula Night, the store's owner, arrives with dinner on her mind. What happens next will be much appreciated by readers, and by Georgie himself.

Every spread is enhanced by John Shelley's detailed full color items mentioned in the text. Kids won't know where to look first, and will not be sorry to spend a good deal of time poring over the store's contents. Full of fun, a rhyming text and adventure, kids will enjoy wrapping their tongues around the names of the necessary items that fill the shelves, and watching a boy and a ghost work together to make things happen. Then, they will be delighted with the surprise (and scare) at the end.

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