Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Howls and Groans: Boo Who? And Other Wicked Halloween Knock-Knock Jokes by Katy Hall

"Knock, Knock!"
"Who's there?"
"Ben who?"
"Ben waiting for Halloween ALL YEAR!"

What's more fun than a festival of Halloween knock-knock jokes? Well, how about lifting the flap and finding the zinger (or groaner, as the case may be) under a cleverly integrated flap on each page. Katy Hall and Lisa Eisenberg, who have given us such holiday riddle flap books as Hearty Har Har: Valentine Riddles You'll Love (Lift-the-Flap) Easter Crack-Ups: Knock-Knock Jokes Funny-Side Up (Lift-the-Flap Knock-Knock Book) and Gobble, Gobble, Giggle: A Book Stuffed with Thanksgiving Riddles (Lift-the-Flap Riddle Book), have a drop-dead funny collection of Halloween knock-knock jokes which also tell a nifty little story of two trick-or-treaters, a lady bug girl and a pirate boy, approaching an appropriately dark, spooky house (with a mailbox which reads R. U. Scairt), ready to knock on the weathered old door. Two watching ghosts wonder to themselves

"Knock, knock!"
"Who's there?"
"Howl who?
"How'll we scare these kids?"

while the lady bug asks the pirate sincerely

"Knock, knock!"
"Who's there?"
"Wicked who?"
"Wicked turn around and go back home!"

Of course, the intrepid two persist, encountering a mummy in the entry, a vampire named Ivan ( "Ivan who?" "Ivan to velcome you to our home!") behind a portrait, two ghosts under the draping on the sofa ("Sofa who?" Sofa we haven't scared these kids yet!"), and a spider-webbed library, with a slacker spider spinning his web from the top shelf ("Spin who?" "Spin a long time since I read a whole book!").

Behind one bookcase flap, the two children find a secret passage and ask the appropriate question:

"Knock, Knock,"
"Who's there?"
"Weirdo who?"
"Weirdo you think this hallway leads?"

Trekking through a creepy attic and a beastly bedroom, the kids finally find themselves in a decked-out dining room all set for a party, with a table set with platters of terror-fried eggs and spook-ghetti, greeted by the mummy, Derek Q. La the vampire, and the rest of the usual suspects all ready to celebrate the holiday. When the horrible hor d'oeuvres are done, the two depart their new friends with a final joke from their haunted hosts:

"Knock, Knock!"
"Who's there?"
"Fangs who?"
"Fangs for coming!"

Boo Who?: And Other Wicked Halloween Knock-Knock Jokes (Lift-the-Flap Knock-Knock Book) provides several knock-knocks per page in addition to the flap joke, and the illustrator provides plenty of sly visual jokes, such as two books in the library, Spooky Nights by "Al Getcha" and Are You Scared by "U. Betterbe." As corny as these puns are, such wordplay is actually a springboard to consciously lively writing for young wordsmiths, and this little book provides a haunted house full of clever howls and ghostly giggles for the young reader.

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