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Summary: It is Halloween Eve and all of the witches in Haunted Hollow are preparing for their favorite night of the year. Except Winifred. She has never gone to the big celebration because, well, she is afraid of the dark. She wishes it weren't so, but it is ... and there doesn't seem to be a potion or magic spell to fix it. Her only hope is Aunt Broomhilda. Will she laugh at Winifred? Will she be able to help? This rhyming picture book blends an age-old childhood fear with a Halloween theme.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 2 to 7
Age of Child: Read with and by a 9-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: As we read through the book my daughter would pick things in the illustrations she liked (like Aunt Broomhilda's spider). At the end, though, she said it was "too young" for her.
Adult Reader Reaction: My daughter's reaction really surprised me. I loved the story and the illustrations are just wonderful. They add both character and depth to the story itself. The solution is clever. Made me want to say "why didn't I think of that?"
Pros: Clever illustrations and bright colors make this a nice selection for Halloween reading, even with young children.
Cons: There were a couple spots where the rhymes had a hitch, but not enough to frustrate a reader. Overall, this is very well done.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Although this is a seasonal book, this is one that will have staying power for youngsters afraid of the dark (or other things).