26 October 2009

Halloween in Christmas Hills

The Legend of Stingy Jack

by Karen Tayleur. Illustrated by Heath McKenzie

black dog books. Australian, Young Reader, Junior. Paperback rrp $16.99

Want to buy a Halloween present that won’t rot their teeth? Halloween in Christmas Hills, The Legend of Stingy Jack will be perfect!

Take one look at the large format front cover and its funny, creepy illustration will lure you inside.

Miles Cameron Johnson is the youngest of five children. The family lives in Ash Crescent in Christmas Hills. Everyone has a favourite holiday except Miles.

When Miles is finally old enough to go trick-or-treating with his siblings, he has to stay in his street. There are only ten houses in the crescent and some of the neighbours don’t believe in Halloween. So there isn’t a lot of candy to get.

And worse still, Mr Jack lives in number six. Stingy Jack to the local kids. He keeps lost balls that go over his fence and probably eats kids for supper. No-one goes there! That is until Miles Cameron ventures out on Halloween. But Miles has been warned…

This is a funny and quirky story – it’s not scary but a lot of very strange things are going on. Heath McKenzie’s almost cartoon-like illustrations enhance the sense of goofiness surrounding the Johnson family. A great story to read on Halloween … and every other holiday in between!


Karen Tayleur’s Chasing Boys was reviewed in Issue 2 of the Reading Stack and Hostage.
Heath McKenzie’s The Aussie A to Z was reviewed in Issue 1, The Australian 12 Days of Christmas in Issue 3, The A to Z of Aussie Activities in Issue 5, and The Number One Aussie Counting Book in Issue 9 of the Reading Stack.

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