The Most Haunted House in America

Abrams. Aug. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781419752469.
Gr 2-5–In 2009, Dapier was invited to play the drums at the White House during the Obamas’s first Halloween celebration. This engaging, rhyming story inspired by that event begins with the Skeleton Drummers receiving an invitation to perform. The cleverly illustrated book, with its pencil, ink, and digitally colored illustrations, includes historical political figures portrayed as dancing ghosts. The Obamas themselves are standout illustrations, coupled with the Skeleton Drummers jamming throughout the event along with the trick-or-treating children. Overall, the lively illustrations add to the lighthearted nature of the story. The vocabulary includes music-related terminology that could be unfamiliar to some, as well as words that are not a part of the average child’s lexicon, such as waltz and gloam. However, the musical terminology and unfamiliar vocabulary provide the possibility for further learning opportunities. An author’s note describing the lore surrounding ghosts that haunt the White House as well as Dapier’s personal experience of playing the celebration add to the book’s appeal. Additional back matter includes a list of books and online resources about White House ghosts and hauntings.
VERDICT The illustrations and narrative surrounding the most haunted house in America are more than enough to keep readers entertained.

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