Bob Shea returns with another charming picture book for kids just in time for Halloween. By now, I’ve become pretty familiar with his work as he is one of Disney Hyperion’s favorite author/illustrators. Readers are likely most familiar with his Ballet Cat series and last year, he published The Happiest Book Ever! This follow up, The Scariest Book Ever, provides more whimsical fun.

Inside the pages of The Scariest Book Ever, we find a shy little ghost who lives with a black cat and is very excited you’ve decided to visit him. He does not want to go into the mysterious woods outside as it is sure to be a terrifying place, but you the reader have the opportunity to take a peek for him. You will find a charming forrest full of bunnies and other cute woodland creatures who are planning a spooky party. It will be up to you to convince the ghost to step outside for some fun, but be sure to warn him about tummy aches from eating too many sweets!

Bob Shea’s use of solid colors and shapes to tell his story once again provides a fun landscape for kids to explore. Parents will have fun reading this to their kids, with lots of opportunities to convey scared and excited emotions. Best of all, this book can be used to help kids understand that things may seem scary on Halloween, but underneath all the costumes are kids just like them.

I’ve fallen in love with Bob Shea’s simplistic character designs. Some of the forest creatures look familiar from the previous book, particularly the bunny. But it’s his adorable pumpkins that melted my heart this time around.

The Scariest Book Ever celebrates some spooky elements of Halloween (ghosts, black cats, pumpkins, costumes) in a fun and kid-friendly way. Like the ghost in the book, it teaches kids that its okay to be scared, but that sometimes conquering your fears can lead to positive rewards. Just try not to eat too many cupcakes.


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