Review Blog

Oct 17 2016

Fright club by Ethan Long

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Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781681190433
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Halloween, Ghost and ghouls, Monsters, Humour, Board book. In the midnight hour, Vlad has called a meeting of the Fright Club, designed to get his friends run through their scariness for Halloween. His friends include Frankenstein, a witch, a wolf and a mummy. There are three things they need to practise before Halloween: ghoulish faces, scary moves and chilling sounds. Unfortunately, their faces wouldn't even scare a daddy long legs and Vlad is extremely disappointed. A knock at the door reveals a rabbit intent on joining their club. Rabbit is sent away and Vlad returns to his teaching role. Just as Mumford's eyes are boringly popping out of his head, there's another knock at the door and the rabbit has returned, this time with her lawyer Frances Foxx. Vlad shuts the door in their faces and tries to get his monster friends to focus. But rabbit returns with her critter friends complete with banners and lots of noise. They pound on the door and show their amazing scary steps and frightening screams, scaring the Fight Club to bits. A compromise is reached and Operation Kiddy Scare is set to be the best Halloween yet.
This is a wonderfully dark and devious story, designed to have readers laugh out loud at the implications of Vlad and his club refusing entry to rabbit and her friends.
A wonderful read aloud, full of information about Halloween which seems to be gaining more interest in Australia, but also giving an underlying lesson in compromise and working together.
The funny illustrations help make this board book a joy to read.
Fran Knight

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