ISBN 0064431835 - Printed in the U.S.A.. Paperback, 29 pages. By Linda Williams, illustrated by Megan Lloyd. Published by HarperCollins in 1986. Marked for ages 3 to 7.
A brave little old lady, walking home through the woods, is confronted by two shoes. She informs the shoes that they don't scare her and continues on, with the shoes following behind. When she meets up with pants, a shirt, gloves and a hat, and, finally, with a pumpkin head, she repeats herself, but she does walk a bit faster after each meeting. Closing the door at home behind her doesn't end things, as the set of clothes comes knocking. The clothing, particularly the pumpkin head, are very sad that they're unable to frighten the lady, but she has a wonderful idea that gets everyone's approval.
This isn't, exactly, a Halloween book. The carved pumpkin head gives it that appearance, and the fact that it's a scary, tense, story, adds to that impression, but more than Halloween, this is an AUTUMN book. It is perfect for those days when the sun sets early and there's a little hint of coming frost in the air - as long as your young reader isn't easily scared! While the idea of being followed around by clothes is mildly amusing to me, as an adult, it'll be your call for your kid, whether or not he/she is likely to enjoy a little scare. The ending, good for a laugh, takes the sting out of the scary lead-up, if knowing that helps you decide.
The text is very good. The following that the little old lady accumulates grows and becomes more ominous and the text conveys that very well, building the tension as the reader roots for the little old lady to escape the menacing laundry pile behind her. The illustrations, set in boxes on each page, are smaller - sometimes much smaller - than they needed to be, or even should have been. This is a perfect book for full page and two-page spreads overflowing with detail. For that type of imagery, see Halloween Night (ISBN 0061351873) instead. The illustrations are my only complaint, however. This is a really good, slightly scary story for young and beginning readers who will probably prefer having a comforting adult do the reading - it is four solid stars good, it's just not five wow stars great.
A Halloween story that is perfect for both independent reading and for telling aloud.
Great picture book for independent reading and telling aloud.