Haunted Party by Iza Trapani
I read a lot of counting books, but they rarely make it to my review pile. It’s even more rare for a rhyming, counting book to make it! But this book beat those odds.
This book is about a ghost who is having a Halloween party. To the party come a whole series of monsters: skeletons, goblins, werewolves, vampires, witches, mummies, and more. Each monster is counted and joins the chaos of the party where they merrily cavort until 10 children knock on the door to trick-or-treat. Frightened, the monsters flee the house in reverse order, until just the ghost is left. The book ends with a little jump, perfect for goosebumps on Halloween.
Trapani has done a counting book right. The counting is part of the book, but not the only reason for it. There is a strong storyline here that keeps the book on track and interesting. The rhyming is done well, creating a book that is easy to read aloud and has a bouncy, friendly quality. There is a refrain that groups of children will love to chant along with: “at the haunted house of the ghost.” Trapani’s illustrations are filled with deep colors that evoke the autumn. There are also many small touches that bring the haunted feeling to life: spiders, eyes peeking from under the floorboard, worms and rats.
Halloween fun for those who enjoy the thrill of monsters and the chill of a bit of creepiness. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from library copy.