17 March 2012

Sounds Spooky

by Christopher Cheng, Illustrated by Sarah Davis

Random House Australia. Australian, Picture Book. Hardcover RRP $19.95

Reviewed by Sandy Fussell

In a creaky old house, a ghost child hears strange, scary noises.
Whistling wind through the treesSqueaking bats flying pastKnocking noises at my window…
When the door creaks the word winds itself around the gargoyles.
I am not scared, the ghost girl whispers as the noises grow closer

              thumping, clicking, whirring, whispering
At the same time, a group of children are nervously making their way through the house.

Plinketty Plunketty Plonk Plink Plunk Twang!
When the children and the ghost girl finally meet, everyone is frightened and everyone insists they are not scared. The ironic humour is immediately evident in the facial expressions.

The text is a celebration of sound and perfect for reading aloud and encouraging young readers and listeners to play with onomatopoeias.

One look at the cover and a flip to the credits page sets the illustration tone. This is a visually stunning book. Go to the Random House Australia web site and look for yourself http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/christopher-cheng/sounds-spooky-9781864718799.aspx. The ghost girl glows with a soft fey luminescence. The use of midnight blues and purples creates a darkness that is deeper than black and twice as magical.

Recommended for reading out loud, playing with words and of course, Halloween.

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