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SPOOKYTALE by Christopher Franceschelli


From the Trail Tales series

by Christopher Franceschelli ; illustrated by Allison Black

Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-4197-5019-9
Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Two friends and their pup trek through a dark wood toward a haunted house.

Spooky but not-too-scary moments abound in this lift-the-flap board book. Each turn of the page or flip of the fold reveals the friends moving closer to the house in the distance; the opening spread looks like a map displaying the path to the house. During their journey, they cross a rickety bridge (complete with a troll), trudge across a dismal swamp, and tromp through a graveyard. When they arrive at the house, expecting a scare, they discover a raucous Halloween party. The rich vocabulary includes words like dismal, deserted, and rotting. There is plenty for eager eyes to observe and linger over on each page. Cutouts allow for animal faces to peek through pages that have been turned, and even the dog has its own experiences with critters and slightly frightening moments. All of the creatures of the night are nonthreatening—even adorable—which makes for age-appropriate scares. The illustrations are eye-catching, and the gatefolds allow for a playful approach to vertical space and height. One child has pale skin and red hair; the other, light-brown skin and dark hair. The suspense inherent in the journey, coupled with the positive relief of tension at the end, makes this a fun Halloween tale.

A haunted journey worth taking.

(Board book. 2-4)