Little Goblins Ten by Pamela JaneLittle Goblins Ten
Written by Pamela Jane
Illustrated by Jane Manning
HarperCollins Children’s Books
978-0-06-176798-2, hardcover
Ages 3-7
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From monsters to ghosties to goblins, everyone’s favorite beasties haunt and howl and rattle their way through their forest home in this silly, spooky twist on the beloved nursery rhyme “Over in the Meadow.” New York Times best-selling illustrator, Jane Manning, adds vibrant color and humor with her imaginative illustrations.

Reviews
★”Numerous titles interpreting “Over in the Meadow” have been published, but trust the team of Jane and Manning to conjure up an impressive new vision in time for Halloween…Even though this is essentially a counting rhyme, the author elevates the reading and listening experience with interactive rhyming text that is rich with alliteration and strong action words: The monster “scared and he scampered,” ghosts “hid and they haunted,” witches “crowed and they cackled” and bats “swooped in the shadows.” The story begins and ends with the green-horned monster mommy and her little monster one -“‘Trick or treat?’ asked the mommy; / ‘Treat!’ cried the one. / So they skipped off together / For some Halloween fun!” Truly satisfying.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

“This Halloween version of the “Over in the Meadow” rhyme stars ghosts, zombies, witches, bats, and other spooky creatures. Within the rhyming and counting framework, young monsters are also instructed on how to behave: little werewolves howl, skeletons rattle, etc. Comical illustrations full of shading and texture provide warmth for these typically fearsome creatures.”—Horn Book Guide

“‘Over in the Meadow’ gets a Halloween makeover in this picture book…Manning’s muted blue-green, brown-orange illustrations fill the spreads with kid-friendly monsters. Libraries in need of monster-filled Halloween tales may consider this as an additional purchase.”—School Library Journal

“In a gently spooky spin on “Over in the Meadow” that counts up to 10, various ghouls and beasts groan, swoop, and haunt. Jane has fun playing within the nursery rhyme’s parameters, whether peeking in on a family of zombies (“ ‘Stare!’ said the mommy; ‘We stare,’ said the three”), howling werewolves (dressed in patchwork overalls), or a rattling “father skeleton/ And his little skellies eight.” Manning’s quirky and expressive monster families are 10 kinds of cute.”—Publishers Weekly

“The classic counting rhyme ‘Over in the Meadow’ goes spooky in this Halloween riff, which should endure well past Oct. 31. Beginning with its opening ‘big mommy monster / and her little monster one,’ readers are rewarded with ample humor and wit. Manning’s ghosts, zombies and dragons look as if they’ve just emerged from a color-saturated waterworld. And there’s a sweetness to the parental-offspring interactions in the playful, alliterative text.”—New York Times Book Review

“The rhymes are infectious and use creative verbs for the action of each creature. “We stare,” say the zombies as their big green googly eyes pop out of their weird purple faces. The fun and silly watercolor illustrations are wonderful. Even creepy creatures like the “little skellies eight” and the “little batties nine” have friendly faces.”—Common Sense Media <Read more.
Over in the Meadow
About the Book
Even before I learned to read, I remember my mother or father reading to me and my older brother, and one of my favorite rhymes was “Over in the Meadow” by Olive A. Wadsworth which begins:

Over in the meadow,
In the sand, in the sun,
Lived an old mother-road
And her little toadie one.
“Wink,” said the mother;
“I wink,” said the one;
So she winked and she blinked
In the sand, in the sun.

The rhyme and rhythm of those early stories and verses my parents read became a part of me. So it was only natural that many years later I would write a spooky twist on those beloved verses. Here’s an excerpt from Little Goblins Ten:

Over in the forest
By the graveyard gate
Lived a bony father skeleton
And his little skellies eight
“Rattle!” said the father;
“We rattle,” said the eight.
So they rattled and they ran
By the graveyard gate.

I had so much fun writing this book! I hope you have fun reading it many times over.

I Just Want to Write About Halloween; I Don’t Want to Answer the Door!

Halloween

I don’t like holidays; I just like writing about them. Carving pumpkins and making gingerbread men (or, heaven help us, gingerbread houses) have no appeal for me. I dread the thought of holiday preparations – the shopping, the anticipation, the work – that’s it – the work! I don’t want to do it, I just want to write about it. As a children’s author of many holiday books, including five Halloween stories, you’d think I’d look forward to the actual holiday. But I can’t stand it. What I love is writing stories, playing with words, playing with kids (the idea for one of my Halloween books came from a tickling game I used to play with my daughter). But what does any of that have to do with people ringing the doorbell every two minutes? “Just turn off your lights and don’t answer the door,” one friend advised. But we live in a neighborhood where everyone knows each other. It would … Read on

Pamela Jane is the author of over thirty books from board books to memoir. She is also a writing coach, freelance writer, and public speaker. Learn more about her by booking a school visit, perusing her blog, or reading her memoir, An Incredible Talent for Existing: A Writer's Story.