From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-The premise here is that just as there are haunted houses, there are also haunted books. What follows is a list of ways to determine if a book is haunted, followed by instructions for what to do should children find themselves reading one. Much of what transpires is disturbing and some of it is just plain creepy. "If you hold a book up to your ear and hear something that sounds like a ghost trying to hold its breath so you won't hear it breathing... the book is definitely haunted." "Never read a haunted book on the anniversary of the day the ghost first took up residence in the book. Most people who make this mistake get sucked up into the book... and are trapped between its covers forever." The digitally enhanced illustrations featuring clay models are also disturbing. The ghosts themselves are pale blue creatures with tails and sharp, pointy teeth who peer eerily out from between the pages, and the scenes where the youngster has been sucked into the book feature a nightmare world with things like a floating child holding its own head on a string like a balloon. Children who enjoyed Neil Gaiman's Coraline (HarperCollins, 2002) might find this offering to their liking, but the picture-book format would attract considerably younger children, who could conceivably find it frightening.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
According to this bit of metaphysical metafiction, book ghosts are almost as plentiful as house ghosts, and that makes sense when you consider the first three letters of the word book. This story provides clues for identifying haunted tomes, such as rapidly shifting characters and plotlines, mixed-up words, and “if the book feels cool against your ear.” If any of these scenarios are true, then you’ll have to be brave, proclaim your love for all things ghostly, and never read anything haunted on Halloween or “on the anniversary of the day the ghost first took up residence,” lest you “get sucked up into the book.” Accompanying this bizarre advice are illustrations that are a combination of plasticine puppets, acrylic paint, and digital photographs, and produce a phantasmagorical effect featuring a pale blue, pink-cheeked, wombat-looking, mysterious-yet-nonthreatening ghost who plays with words and the mind of the young boy it’s haunting. A surreal experience, this may baffle some and fascinate others. Grades K-2. --Andrew Medlar