Edward Gorey meets Downton Abbey in a deliciously ghostly caper about mischievous children who won’t stay inside their gilded portrait frames.
Welcome to Shiverhawk Hall! It’s a big old house full of treasure, mystery, and stories. Here, just look up on the wall. See these beautiful paintings? These are children who used to live here long ago: the DeVillechild twins, the Pinksweet tots . . . my, they look like such good
children. So very well behaved. But wait a minute, did you see
that? One of their eyes seemed to blink! Did you hear
that? A rustle! A whisper! The tiniest scratch! Can it be that when darkness falls, the children on the walls at Shiverhawk Hall climb out of their paintings and run amok?
In Katie May Green's imaginative and accomplished debut picture book, a black cat leads readers into an ancient house in which the children in the portraits come alive...Children will return to this tale over and over, searching for all eight children during their nighttime adventure, watching the progress of three white mice in nearly every illustration, and seeing what's altered at sunrise in the pictures that line Shiverhawk Hall. Green is an author-artist to watch.
—Shelf Awareness (starred review)
The gray tones of the graphite and charcoal illustrations help set the mood of an old, neglected estate where everything is forgotten and dusty. Share this slightly silly yet decidedly creepy story about haunted pictures in a spooky house at Halloween or anytime.
The overly sweet, rhyming text serves as an effective counterpoint to the children’s raucous behavior and devilish stares. Green’s digitally colored charcoal-and-graphite artwork portrays plump, pampered youngsters who have mastered the art of feigned goodness—being seen and not heard—even as they contravene that behavior at every opportunity.
Fun to use to talk about portraits or imagination or to offer to readers who want something a bit spooky to read.
—School Library Journal