Babysitting Nightmares: The Shadow Hand

illus. by Rayanne Vieira. 208p. (Babysitting Nightmares: Bk. 1). Imprint. Jun. 2018. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781250156969. POP
Gr 3–6—Kat Shepherd draws from 1990s kid lit canon in this creepy tale of babysitting gone wrong. Middle-schooler Rebecca Chang and her friends Clio, Maggie, and Tanya love babysitting for their neighbor's infant son, Kyle. He's happy and easygoing—that is, until a power outage during a storm alters the child's personality and creates strange occurrences in his home. After consulting Clio's Aunt Kawanna, the girls are convinced that Kyle has been replaced by a changeling and they are the only ones who can return the child to his family. The story ends happily, but with the door open for another spine-tingling adventure. Clothing descriptions and scares take precedence over character development, but readers won't mind; the chills and cliff-hangers are the real attraction here. Vieira's stylized black-and-white illustrations add to the creep factor without being too graphic or frightening for younger readers, and take care to highlight the cultural diversity found in the friend group.
VERDICT Fans of "Goosebumps" and the updated "Baby-Sitters' Club" graphic novels will find lots to like in this delightfully monstrous mash-up.

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