by Matt Forrest Esenwine, illustrated by Fred Koehler
Boyds Mills Press, 2017
A story for those who dare to adventure. The words, done in rhyme, set up the ‘scare’ and the illustrations keep readers turning the pages to see what is next, imagining what it might be like for them.
In this story, a brother, sister and their little brother are outside in their treehouse at night. The older brother uses the light to make everything appear scarier, leaving the rest to the others’ imaginations. The flashlight,
“leads you past old post and rail
alongside a long-forgotten trail
into woods no others dare,
for fear of what is waiting there.”
This story’s action takes place outside the treehouse. Illustrations show what could be in the shadows, like tigers. They explore water, underbrush, walls and halls where wolves and lions and skulls and bones might lurk. They travel to foreign shores, where pirates and octopi threaten the trio.
After the scary stories are shared, we see the trio in the tree house and it’s lights out. In the shadows we see the little brother smiling and the tiger below preparing itself for another adventure. While the story threatens danger, the characters are always safe.