From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2-Eerie yet amusing illustrations and a romping, rhyming text add up to fun in this Halloween counting book. Schindler's ink-and-watercolor artwork is a fine fit for Leuck's action-packed, easy-to-read text. "One witch/on a hill/had an empty pot/to fill." Night is slowly falling as various creepy creatures each hand the witch gruesome tidbits for a tasty stew, including a claw, a tail, slugs, a rattlesnake, and a moth. Plenty of alliteration seasons the text and adds to the flowing cadence. Some characters' faces seem a bit scary, but deliciously so, and there's plenty of humor in the highly detailed scenes. A slimy slug with bulging eyes scurries toward the witch's shopping bag on the title page, and diving and darting bats on the endpapers foreshadow spooky fun. Pointing out these droll illustrations will no doubt bring a big grin to youngsters' faces. A terrific choice for holiday storytimes, especially before serving up the refreshments.James K. Irwin, Poplar Creek Main Library, Steamwood, IL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS. "One witch / on a hill / had an empty pot / to fill" begins this spooky Stone Soup tale that's also a counting exercise. Rhyming couplets tell the story as the witch collects ingredients for her "gruesome stew" from her pals, a cast of ghoulish characters who are presented in groups of ascending numbers from 2 cats to 10 werewolves. The chance to count comes again, this time in descending order, when invitations for the witch's bash are delivered to the homes of each group: "ten werewolves / in their caves, nine skeletons / in their graves," and so on. The well-paced text is filled with delicious words and rhythms, ending in a shivery surprise for children, and Schindler's detailed ink-and-watercolor images are a delight, balancing the graveyards and purple skies of Halloween with the perfectly buffoonish, creepy folk. A great choice for October preschool read-alouds. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved