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Author: Marjorie Dennis Murray

Illustrator: Brandon Dorman

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Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: In a house filled with ghouls, witches, and monsters, everyone is busy getting ready for the big night. Yes, there are the trick-or-treaters, but the highlight is the monster ball. This picture book uses the cadence of Twas the Night Before Christmas to tell its ghoulish story.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together 4 to 8; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 4 to 10

Reading Level: 3.6

Age of Child: Read with a 6-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: We read this every night for two weeks up to Halloween and even a few times after. It didn't take long for our daughter catch on the the words and start reading herself.

Adult Reader Reaction: As knockoffs go, this was a pretty good twist on the "Twas the night before" theme. The illustrations are wonderful, with just enough ghoul to be Halloween, but not so scary that they scare the intended audience. I loved the twist at the end.

Pros: A fast-moving story, pumpkins, ghouls, shrieks, and wonderful illustrations make this a fun story to share for Halloween.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a great book, and you'll probably read it a couple years in a row, but because it's seasonal book, it has a very short shelf life.


Educational Themes: This is a seasonal story for sharing.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 3.2

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, Halloween, rhyme

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2008

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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