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*Halloween Night on Shivermore Street* by Pamela Pollack & Meg Belviso, illustrated by Randy Duburke

Halloween Night on Shivermore Street
by Pamela Pollack & Meg Belviso, illustrated by Randy Duburke
ages 4-8 32 pages Chronicle Books September 2004 Hardcover    

“The moon’s pea green. It’s Halloween.” And the neighborhood children are excited. There’s a Halloween party tonight on Shivermore Street, a haunted-looking edifice decorated with spider webs, candles and jack-o-lanterns. As directed, right at six o’clock, the children approach, ready for the party to begin.

Every hour, just before the clock strikes, there is a new adventure: just before seven is snack time, “sizzling spiders hot out of the pan… whipped cream-colored ants”; before eight it’s musical chairs, six frantic witches scrambling for five seats before the music ends. And so it goes, each hour with a scarier game, like werewolves bobbing for apples, vampires cutting out pumpkin faces, and hide-and-seek in the dark of the moon.

Partygoers beware! When the clock strikes twelve, it’s time to unmask, everyone exposed. The final chimes begin, the merrymakers gathered for the unveiling. Suddenly, their eyes as big as saucers, the children look around them; it seems these party people really are scary monsters, vampires, witches and werewolves! The neighborhood kids run shrieking from the house on Shivermore Street, a Halloween party they’ll never forget.

In vivid colors – pea-green moon, navy-blue sky, eerie goblins and assorted ghouls with faces lit by orange candlelight, the fanciful illustrations are scary, creepy and strange, even spine-tingling… but not too frightening for young readers. Page by page, the gala accelerates. The children have no idea what to expect until the final countdown, when everyone is unmasked. This entertaining tale delighted my granddaughter, as page by page, hour by hour, the tale built deliciously to the midnight surprise.

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  Luan Gaines/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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