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Spooky Hayride (Scholastic Reader Level 1) by Brian James
Cover Artist: Bryan Langdo
Review by Gayle Surrette
Cartwheel Books Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780545029773
Date: 01 August 2008 List Price $3.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Spooky Hayride is just the book you want if your young child is going on a first hayride this fall.

Sibling rivalry can be a problem for parents as well as children. In Spooky Hayride the story is told from the point of view of the youngest child going on his or her first hayride. The older brother has told stories of ghosts, monsters, and terror and the younger child is a bit skittish about going.

Turns out that being young doesn't necessarily mean you don't notice things or question what you are told. The older brother gets a bit of a surprise that he was not expecting.

The illustrations are soft and in a darker spookier palette of violets, browns, blues, greens, with pops of red and green. It's easy to follow along if an adult is reading and to stop and study the illustrations. The book's blurb says the younger child is a girl but at that age the clothing makes it very androgynous and could just as well be a second son.

The written text is simple for early or beginning readers. Information on the back of the books says that it is Level 1, Pre-K-1, Guided Reading Level D, Lexile Level BR, and with a word count of 184. Even simple books for young readers can tell a story and give it a twist.

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