Archive for October, 2017

HOWLING AND HURTING

Blow: A Short Story

Written by K.J. Waters

 

This short story was written as a bridge between the author’s two novels about hurricanes. Its setting takes place in the middle of Hurricane Ivan, a Category 4 hurricane, which took place in Pensacola, Florida, in September 2004. Loosely based on the memories of an actual storm survivor, this fictional account places the reader in a terrifying situation. Rick is barricaded in his home His friend Chip seeks shelter with him.. Rick doesn’t know that Chip is bringing his friend Buck, who is a cop. Why should that bother Rick? He has a deep, dark secret hidden in the house, which could land him in deep trouble if discovered. The reader is given the backstory in flashbacks artfully woven into the narrative. The characters are remarkably well developed. Readers feel the tension build as the hurricane intensifies and Rick’s secret is slowly revealed.

While I haven’t read either of the two novels, this short story does a fine job of standing alone as a well-written thriller. Perfect afternoon read for young adult and adult audiences.

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SCAREDY CAT

A VERY SCARY PUMPKIN

Written by Jeff Minich

Illustrated by Renee Garcia

Book Three in the Nuggies series featuring Chomper and Coco, who are dog and cat friends. Moving day is here, but when the family arrives at their new home, it turns out to be an old, scary hours that is haunted by a pumpkin. The pumpkin does not want the new owners, so she tries mightily to scare them all away. She even locks daddy out of the house, while she imprisons Coco and Chomper.

One night Chomper and Coco discover the true identity of the ghost and realize she is not scary, but really very lonely. How will the three resolve their issues? Will the family be able to settle peacefully in their new home?

This picture book is well laid out and attractively illustrated. I would caution reading it as a bedtime story for children who have nightmares, but it makes a good Halloween read aloud or book for classroom discussion. Especially recommended for children in the three to six age bracket.

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HALLOWEEN ON HIGH

Halloween Snowman Paul

Written by Yossi Lapid

Illustrated by Joanna Fasen

I was delighted to see a new release in the Snowman Paul series because I have previously enjoyed this author’s funny character and memorable illustrations.

This new book features a tree house on Halloween night. As visitors come upon the site, they encounter a warning sign not to come near the tree house. Who can refuse a dare on Halloween night? As the reader continues his journey three more warnings are posted. Visitors are warned of many types of danger. Trespassers might encounter space aliens, witches or ghosts.

I won’t give away where Paul fits into this picture, but readers will be urged to tell spooky stories and sing scary songs. Trick or treaters will not be disappointed.

This multicultural book is replete with large, soft and expressive watercolor illustrations that are not too scary for the youngest readers. Recommended especially for children in the three to eight year old range. Warning…adults will enjoy the book even more than the kids. Well done!

I was given a copy of this book by the author and voluntarily decided to review with my honest opinions for no compensation.

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