When the Moon Is High) story plagues a boy by pillaging his"/>

THE SKELETON IN THE CLOSET

Alice Schertle, Author, Curtis Jobling, Illustrator , illus. by Curtis Jobling. HarperCollins $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-688-17738-6

Although many children fear the ghoul lurking in their closets, the bony apparition in Schertle's (When the Moon Is High) story plagues a boy by pillaging his closet's contents. After seemingly stalking the redheaded narrator for several pages (the mise en scenes are direct quotes from the horror movie canon), the skeleton reveals its raison d'etre: "I'm wearin' no skin, so everything shows—/ Comin' up to find some skeleton clothes!" Bypassing the boy completely, the skeleton heads for his wardrobe and assembles a fetching ensemble of valentine undershorts worn over a pair of jeans, a winter coat, a candy-cane scarf and a rainbow ski cap; on the final page, the hero reveals that the intruder has also donned the boy's teddy bear slippers (so "he'll be quiet, quiet, quiet"). Solemnly appraising the effort, hands on hips like an editor from Vogue, the boy pronounces, "When he came out I'd have to say/ he was looking good, in a skeleton way." Jobling (Frankenstein's Cat) fashions the bony fellow with an overlarge head, buck teeth and exuding an infectious bug-eyed glee as it discovers its inner clothes horse. Ages 6-up. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 08/04/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
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