Holiday fiction, Fantasy
Synthetic audio, Automated braille
An eccentric babysitter has a knack for telling stories that are eerily well suited to her young charges. When Carolina Giddle moves into the Blatchford Arms, no one knows what to make of her sequin-sprinkled sneakers and her trinket-crusted car.… But the parents are happy there’s a new babysitter around, and Carolina seems to have an uncanny ability to calm the most rambunctious child with her ghostly stories. Armed with unusual snacks (bone-shaped peppermints, granghoula bars and Rumpelstiltskin sandwiches), candles to set the mood, and her trusty sidekick — a tarantula named Chiquita, Carolina entertains the children with some good old-fashioned storytelling and, at the end, a great Halloween party. Governor General’s Award winner Glen Huser brings his quirky sense of humor and horror to some time-honored motifs. The artistic Lubinitsky girls find out that artists must be wary of the power of their own creations. Holy terror Angelo Bellini discovers that no one can throw a tantrum like a double-crossed pirate. The Hooper kids, including UFO junkie Benjamin, learn about some eerie goings-on in the New Mexico desert. Timid Hubert and Hetty Croop are practically afraid of their own shadows, until they hear the story of a boy who finds the perfect weapon for overcoming his fear of the dark. And Dwight and Dwayne Fergus, two would-be Freddy Kruegers, finally meet their match in Carolina, and her story of the footless skeleton. As for Carolina Giddle herself, it turns out that she has a timeworn connection to the Blatchford Arms, and to the ghost who still haunts the building — especially its old-fashioned elevator. Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.3 Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact). CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.9 Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.