CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 37. . . .May 27, 2016
If, as you read the above excerpt, a familiar tune started to pop into your head, that’s understandable as the main text of The Ghosts Go Spooking consists of Bozik’s reworking of the lyrics of “The Ants Go Marching”. This board book is not just a seasonal book, but it’s also a 1-10 counting book as well as a vehicle for an adult-child sing-along.
The main text consists of Bozik’s revised song lyrics while brief speech bubbles appear in Storms’ exuberant full-colour illustrations. For example, in the book, the cartoon-like illustration that accompanies the text found in the above excerpt sees a clown-costumed ghost shouting "Wheeee!" as it swings on a pumpkin rope swing. Obviously, the increasing numbers of ghosts appearing on subsequent double-page spreads are what the child reader/listener is to be counting, but illustrator Storms cleverly provides her young audience with a secondary “something” to count. For instance, in addition to three Halloween costumed ghosts, children can discover three tombstones while five trick-or-treat ghosts are accompanied by an equal number of violin-playing skeletons.
Those who intend to use the main text for sing-along purposes need to be aware that, after the first verse, the printed text does not repeat the verse’s four-line introduction, that is:
Perhaps design considerations caused these repetitive lines to be excised, but their omission may initially cause confusion for early readers who will recognize that what the adult is singing does not match what they are seeing on the page.
Nonetheless, The Ghosts Go Spooking is an excellent multi-use board book, one that could easily become a family favourite.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, haunts the environs of Winnipeg, MB.
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