Children's Books: Old MacDonald Had A Haunted House
by Nancy Mauerman
(Portland, OR USA)
Old MacDonald Had A Haunted House Cover
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Children have always needed a celebratory song for that most silly of holidays, Halloween. They probably already know the tune and half the words so here a few that describe Old MacDonald’s Haunted House with a torture chamber with feathers to tickle, a hidden staircase to sneak sneak and salamanders that slime slime.
Nancy Mauerman writes novels for kids that are beautifully illustrated and have a strong central plot with several sub-plots broadening the character's motivation and adding quirky details used later in the story. There are surprise word pictures on most every page, like, "Worms don't need legs. They dance together, in slime they spit out, cheek to cheek." Nancy uses alliterations and assonance, invents new words and introduces others, previously known to adults. She explains their meaning and repeats the word again soon, without breaking the rhythm of the story.
Family problem-solving is her favorite theme because children are hungry to share adventures with their adults. Her dialogues flow naturally, tempting the reader into reading the same passage a little differently each time. The story flows effortlessly, it and the pictures grabs children's attention, while adults enjoy discovering new insights and the words feel good in their mouths. These are not books adults will 'accidentally' loose, burn, or spindle.
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