Hello all! Just 23 more days until Halloween!! I know that I’m busier than ever!
For this entry I’ve chosen On A Windy Night by Nancy Raines Day; illustrated by George Bates.
This books tells the story of a trick-or-treater heading home one Halloween. As the clouds hide the moon, creating darkness and shadows, the boy’s imagination begins to run away from him when he thinks he hears a voice in the wind whisper “CRACKLETY-CLACK, BONES IN A SACK. They could be yours – if you look back.” As the boy races home and his fears grow bigger and bigger, the moon suddenly comes out and the boy finds out what is really chasing him on his way home.
A fun book to read aloud with the repetitious “Cracklety-clack, bones in a sack…” allowing children to chime in multiple times throughout the book. The writing really builds the suspense and anxiety that this young boy is feeling as his imagination runs wild on his way home. The fears and possibilities that a Halloween eve inspires really come full force when the moon hides behind the clouds.
The illustrations in this book also add to the suspense. The illustrator has done a great job in showing what the boy thinks he is seeing and overlaying these sights on top of the actual objects. When the moon finally shows itself, children will be able to recognize the skeletons as the cornstalks and the heads as pumpkins. The illustrations are very dark (because the moon is behind the clouds, after all), so it is a book that needs to be looked at up close and personal.
This book will really add suspense and enjoyment to bedtime or any other time. It’s a great look at what our imaginations can do to us, particularly on a night like Halloween when the spooks and creatures of the night are known to prowl! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Author: Nancy Raines Day
Illustrator: George Bates
Ages: PreK thru 3rd (the “uneasiness” that the book can bring out when read may not be good for younger readers).
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers, New York, New York