Written and Illustrated by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2012
Ten creepy monsters met ‘neath a gnarled pine
One blew away, and then there were nine
Eek! It’s a: Werewolf, vampire, ghost, zombie, mummy, goblin, lake creature, scarecrow, witch and hunchback!
This book is a modern reworking of the 1868 folk song, ‘Ten Little Indians’ (or Soldiers, if that’s the version you’re more familiar with). In this version, the book starts with ten monsters and with each rhyming couplet, a mishap of some kind occurs that removes one monster from the group. The werewolf sees the full moon and runs away, the mummy snags his wrappings on the door, etc. The last monster standing is the goblin and when he returns home, we see that he is more than he appears to be.
If you have any classic monster fans in the house, this story is a guaranteed winner. Nearly all the classic movie monsters are represented here and author/illustrator Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis credits her father for giving her a love of B movies and monsters. That love is evident in the fun she has with the artwork here. The illustrations, done in acrylics, feature lots of details, such as rats, black cats, spiders & ravens popping up here and there. The surprise ending is sure to be a favorite with kids.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that you never know what you’ll see at Halloween or what’s really underneath that mask!