Monday, January 28, 2013
Spooky Spooky House by Andrew Weale and Lee Wildish (Picture Corgi)
Posted by ReadItDaddy at 10:52 AM Labels: Andrew Weale, Lee Wildish, Picture Corgi, Spooky Spooky House
Last year, we were fortunate enough to be included on the Red House Picture Book Awards Blog Tour, hosting a piece by Andrew Weale - author of this very book!
Now we're finally getting round to reviewing Spooky Spooky House, thanks to the lovely Zoe at "Playing by the Book" for sending us a copy to take a look at.
With a spooky haunted house, lots of 'reveals' in the shape of lift-the-flap bits, and monsters, ghosts, ghoulies and slime by the bucketload I thought Charlotte would love this and she did. I felt it was a bit...disapointing and I can't quite put my finger on why. Perhaps it was the constant 'tease' of the big reveal at the end (a heat-sensitive black panel which you have to 'warm up' to reveal the horrible character stalking the reader throughout the book - but in practice something we really struggled to get to work - we should've used Zoe's idea of getting a hot water bottle for the purpose, but used a hot radiator instead, OWCH!) meaning that story was sacrificed to be replaced by a sort of "are you scared yet? How about now, how about NOW?" type of thing as the running thread for Spooky Spooky House.
There's an essay (or at least a very lengthy blog post) in what scares kids or what's deemed spooky. It's not purely about the visual, it's not even about the 'BOO!' behind a liftable flap. In Charlotte's case it definitely wasn't this book - because despite loving the theme and the reveals and the panel at the back (and of course the sinister stalking character), to her it was as spooky as a timid dormouse hiding in a teapot. Of course we don't exactly want to traumatise our children (particularly before bedtime) with nightmarish visions that will keep them awake all night, but spooky is as spooky does - compare and contrast this with the utterly superb (and quite similar) "Haunted House" by Jan Pienkowski.
Or perhaps even...that bear...under the stairs...
Charlotte's best bit: The big reveal. Once we got it working!
Daddy's favourite bit: A Wham reference at the start of the book made me giggle.
(Kindly sent to us for review by Zoe at Playing By The Book. We owe you one, Zoe!)