Gr 2-4-Araminta Spookie lives in a sprawling haunted house. She spends her days hunting for ghosts, avoiding her cranky Aunt Tabby, and helping her nocturnal Uncle Drac. In the first book, her aunt wants to sell the house and the little girl does all she can to scare away potential buyers. Things turn out better than expected when the ghost-loving Wizzard family shows interest but decides instead to move in with the Spookies. In the second book, Araminta and the Wizzards' daughter find themselves in danger when they try to retrieve a sword from a cave for the house ghost's 500th birthday. These straightforward stories are filled with exposition and description but little action, until their funny and fitting finales. Reluctant readers may have lost interest by then, however. What the books lack in action, though, they make up for in setting. Kids who use "weird" as a compliment will delight in the charming details of Araminta's life. Trapdoors and secret passageways get her into forbidden places. Frogs, bats, and ghosts are part of the family. Pickering's full- and half-page illustrations and cobwebs dangling from the page corners add the perfect mood. However, Araminta is less interesting than her surroundings. She speaks with a consistent, peevish tone, remaining unchanged throughout her adventures. These books offer few surprises, but will be fun escapism for readers who like their spooky without the scary.-Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Humorous, fast-paced, kooky, spooky fun." -- Publishers Weekly
Fun escapism for readers who like their spooky without the scary. --School Library Journal
Humorous, fast paced, kooky, spooky fun. --Publishers Weekly
Healthy proportions of scary details leavened with light and funny plot twists make this novel an easy recommendation. --Bulletin of the Center for Children s Books
"Humorous, fast-paced, kooky, spooky fun."--Publishers Weekly
"Fun escapism for readers who like their spooky without the scary."--School Library Journal
"Healthy proportions of scary details leavened with light and funny plot twists make this novel an easy recommendation."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books