Lean Pickins': Skeleton for Dinner by Margery Cuyler
ONE DAY BIG WITCH AND LITTLE WITCH DECIDED TO BREW A STEW.
BIG WITCH TOOK A TASTE. "THIS IS SOOOOOO YUMMY!" SHE SAID. "LET'S INVITE OUR FRIENDS FOR DINNER!"
Suddenly the two have a mania for a midnight stew brew bash. Their cauldron is already cooking, so all they need is a guest list. Quikly Little Witch jots down the list and pegs it to a nearby tree.
Big Witch and Little Witch head off into the night to contact their friends, leaving their cauldron simmering amongst the gravestones. And who should come along but Skeleton.
Skeleton notices the bubbling cauldron and then spots the list on the tree.
I DON'T WANT TO BE EATEN!"
Skeleton rushes off to warn his friends Ghoul and Ghost about the danger of becoming dinner entrees, and their reaction is predictable.
"OOHHH, NOOOOOO!" THEY HOWL.
Needless to say, Big and Little Witch find their proposed dinner guests pretty scarce for a while, but in Margery Cuyler's Skeleton for Dinner (Albert Whitman, 2013), all's well that ends well when this little idiomatic misunderstanding is finally cleared up and Ghost, Ghoul, and Skeleton arrive for dinner bearing a beautiful bouquet of poison ivy for their lovely hostesses. Soup's on!
Margery Cuyler is a veteran writer with many classic holiday picture books on her publications list, and in this delightful little wordplay tale, she is assisted ably by Will Terry, whose sight gags and appealing deep blue-hued illustrations add the appropriate spoofy-spooky ambience and whose witches, ghost, ghoul, and skeleton are safely on the non-scary side for primary readers.
For a pair of holiday storytime treats, pair this new one with Cuyler's top-selling killer-diller rib-tickling skeleton tale, Skeleton Hiccups (see my review here) for a drop-dead good time.