Perfect Picture Book Friday! At the Old Haunted House by Helen Ketteman

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a great counting book for Halloween!

theoldhauntedAt the Old Haunted House

By Helen Ketteman

Illustrated by Nate Wragg

32 pages – ages 3+
Published by Two Lions on August 12, 2014

Theme/Topic- Halloween/Counting

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis-
Opening – “At the old haunted house
In a room with no sun
Lived a warty green witch
And her wee witchy one.”

Synopsis – (publisher’s description) There are all kinds of creatures in the house: a big Ma monster and her wee monsters two, a scrawny black cat and her wee kittens three, a green Pa goblin and his wee goblins four, and more! Count along as the creatures prepare for the Halloween Fright. The text, written in the pattern of the popular poem “Over in the Meadow,” makes reading aloud fun, while the cinematic illustrations set the scene for an unforgettable romp through the old haunted house. Trick or treat!


Why I liked this book- This is a fabulous counting book with marvelous illustrations. The rhyming’s, slightly repeating rhythm makes it sing-song in a little. I like that a lot. The illustrations are cartoony and fit the book wonderfully! Look!


They have a warm feeling to them, making it Halloweeny, but not specifically scary. I like the little details you can find in the pictures, the picture frames, with the ma monster and her two kids in them. The writing style is awesome and had me chuckling along as I read it. It was fun to pick out all the spooky creatures in the book. I think it is a great Halloween read for little kids – kind of spooky but not scary!

Activities and Resources-
On the back of the book it says there are 2 witches, 3 monsters, 4 black cats, 5 goblins etc. Use the book as a seek and find and find all the spooky creatures (up to 11 spiders!).

The All Kids Network website has a TON of cool Halloween worksheets for parents and teachers  check it out HERE.

Check out this very cute counting candy corn Halloween activity HERE.


Want to learn more? Check out Ms. Ketteman’s website HERE and Nate Wragg’s website HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Categories: Age 6-9

Tags: , , , , , ,

38 replies

  1. I already put it on hold. Of course, I’ll have to wait because there aren’t any copies available at present…you’d think it’s October or something 🙂 Thanks for a great review, Erik! This book sounds like one I will love!

  2. This looks like a cool book — glad to hear it’s Halloweeny, but not too scary. Love the illustrations. 🙂

  3. I haven’t been seeing many Halloween books out there so am glad you shared this. I love the illustrations. Seems like a great fun counting book.

  4. What a cute Halloween book Erik. I hope mine isn’t too scary you just won it 😉

  5. Great review, Erik. This book looks wonderful. I’m finding myself smitten with that art.

  6. You have shared such a variety of books for Halloween this month! The illustrations in this one are beautiful, scarey and fun. Great pick!

  7. Now all I want is candy corn!

  8. Ooo, oh! I LOVE Over in the Meadow! This looks like a fabulous book. Thank-you for your review. I couldn’t get your links to work, but here’s Nate’s blog and Helen’s site

  9. I hope Mom will play that candy corn counting game with me. And by “play” I mean I hope she’ll give me some candy corns to eat.

    Love and licks,

  10. I hope that house doesn’t have a basement. I hear that basements have spooky things in them.

  11. I love unsavory monsters!!

  12. Now that’s what I call a fun Halloween book! BTW, my husband’s favorite treat is candy corn. ;-}

  13. Very cute. And those kids are brave in the illustration, to actually walk up to the door of that haunted house! Great review, Erik!

  14. Erik, I’m not too much into ghost stories (though I still intend to read THE GRAVEYARD BOOK!), but I DO love this cover AND candy corn 😀 hehehe

  15. I usually don’t like scary books, but the illustrations in this one look really beautiful. Great choice for this time of year.

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