Iza Trapani, author/illustrator
Iza Trapani is the best-selling author/illustrator of several children's books, including Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; I'm a Little Teapot; The Itsy Bitsy Spider; and Rufus and Friends: Rhyme Time. She lives in the Hudson Valley of New York.
Read more about Iza.
School Library Journal
A muted (but nicely contrasted) palette and creepy creatures inhabit this Halloween counting book: "3 gruesome goblins, gross and green,/With pointy ears that aren't too clean,/Enjoy some really mean cuisine/At the haunted house of the ghost." As skeletons boogie, vampires dunk for apples (dexterously speared on their fangs), and mummies play pin the tail on the monster, the ghost host serves ghoulish treats and sweeps up after the voluminously shedding werewolves. The growing melee makes counting each arriving group as challenging as it is entertaining. The party is a rollicking success-until the arrival of 10 adorable trick-or-treaters, who terrify the guests into a quick countdown as "9 morbid mummies flee and hide./8 wretched witches zoom outside./7 mean monsters tremble with fear./6 ghastly ghouls try to disappear" and so on, right down to the single ghost who has a surprise in store for readers. This funny, warmly illustrated rhyme makes an entertaining choice for holiday storytimes.
One ghost invites two "spooky skeletons," three "gruesome goblins," and so on up to nine "morbid mummies," all of whom have a rocking good time playing pin-the-tail-on-the-werewolf and smashing pumpkins. Trapani's serviceable verse counts up monster by monster in rhyming triplets with the refrain, "At the haunted house of the ghost." Her cheery watercolors enliven the verse, depicting grinning ghouls enjoying themselves, the ghostly host in black tie floating about offering eyeballs and coffee. Kids will particularly enjoy the vile vampire with a bobbed apple impaled on each fang. When ten "cute children, sunny and sweet," come to the door "[p]olitely chanting, 'Trick or Treat,'" a speedy countdown of terrified party guests begins, a last wicked surprise keeping the book from cloying like too many candy corn.
One "very busy" ghostly host wearing a bow tie prepares for a party in this fun counting book. When the raucous party guests arrive, they include "3 gruesome goblins, gross and green," "4 wild werewolves, very hairy" and "8 wretched witches, riding on brooms." But the most fearsome of all are "10 cute children, sunny and sweet... Politely chanting, 'Trick or Treat!' " who scare away the various monsters. The guests' outrageous antics and the more-marshmallow-than-menacing host (though it does get one final scare in) make it a good pick for the Halloween-hesitant.
This clever counting book in rhyme coaxes the reader to be perceptive by adding and subtracting the party guests coming and going from the ghost's house. More and more guests arrive for the party until the pages are filled with their antics, including carving pumpkins, dancing, and generally making a mess of things. The reader is easily caught up in the illustrations to find and count the many different characters portrayed--from skeletons to werewolves to witches and mummies--all of which are wonderfully drawn by the author. The poetry works well, especially when read aloud, and is delightful. The double page spread with all the children trick or treating is a good visual break in the illustrations and pulls the reader more into the story. As the party guests rush to leave in fear of the children partygoers, the reader counts backwards until there is only the ghost left. But is he frightened? Unusual counting concepts, humorous illustrations, all nicely put together with a surprise twist to the ending.
The Associated Press
Ghost is having a Halloween party, and his guests are just what you'd expect, from two spooky skeletons that dance up a storm, three gruesome goblins that love eating the mean cuisine, all the way to nine morbid mummies. As the party rocks on, the doorbell rings again, and this time it's 10 cute children who've come to trick or treat. When the spooky guests see the children, they flee in terror of the very scary-looking kids. The ghost however, is not scared. As a matter of fact, he has a surprise for the chidlren. A rollicking, rhyming counting tale with just the right does of spookiness, Haunted Party will appeal to kids in every way.
Page count: 32
10 x 8