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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

the scariest book ever, written and illustrated by bob shea. Disney Hyperion, Hachette. 2017. $17.99 ages 5 and up

"Now I have nothing
to wear.

I guess you'll have to
go into the scary dark
woods without me.

You go check them out,
and I'll meet you in a
couple of pages."

Ghost is not one of the brave ones! Sure there is a terrifying forest just outside the door, it does its best to convince readers to stay inside and not risk the imminent danger beyond.

Thinking fitfully about what must be faced, the ghost accidentally spills orange juice on its nice white ... and spends the rest of the book naked and unable to explore the woods. Encouraging the reader to go and investigate, it will await news. With each assurance that there is nothing scary out there, the ghost finds new excuses for not taking part. Cleaning the bathroom and sharing doughnuts do nothing to encourage readers to stay put.

We are witness to all discoveries made beyond the ghost's house ... in the endlessly frightening forest where a rabbit doles out party invitations to the creatures and other inhabitants of the forest itself. There are crafts, food, and pumpkin harvesting. What fun! Will the ghost finally be cajoled into joining them?

I will leave that for you to find out!

Bob Shea's digital spreads, in bright and colorful geometric images, show the action on bold backgrounds. Compared to the crisp black and white interiors, young readers realize how much the tiny ghost is missing. Keeping up with the naked ghost makes for a laughter-filled and most enjoyable story. You are sure to read it more than one time.

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