Reviews for Never Say Boo!

Booklist Reviews 2009 September #1
Being the new kid in school can be hard, especially when you're the only ghost, and little spook Gordon's first day at Booniesville Elementary isn't starting well. His teacher faints, his classmates are spooked, and Gordon realizes that what's normal in Ghostville, such as his eyeball-popping eye rolls or his haunted, howling lunchbox, isn't normal here. But when a fire breaks out at school and the alarm malfunctions, Gordon acts quickly, lets loose his own alarm (his Ghostville-prize-winning loud "boo"), and saves lives, earning him appreciation, acceptance, and new friends. This ghost story is more sympathetic than spooky, and the "boo" sound provides fun wordplay ("BOOby trap"; "BOOOOOO-tiful idea"). The colorful illustrations depict familiar school settings packed with students, whose continually open-mouthed, hugely wide-eyed expressions are somewhat disconcerting. Gordon's ghostly characteristics, such as his tendency to lose teeth, add levity. The story is lengthier and printed in a smaller point size than most picture-book stories, signaling that this might draw an older audience. This isn't an essential purchase, but it will find appeal among kids who enjoy quirky tales. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
As the only ghost in his new school, Gordon inadvertently terrifies his teacher and classmates. When a fire breaks out, however, his quick thinking and chillingly loud boo scare the children out of the building and alert the fire department. The silly ghost story is enhanced by shadowy gouache and digital illustrations set against spooky black backgrounds. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 July #2
It's never easy being the new kid at school, but when you're the only ghost, too, it's really tough. When Gordon greets his new teacher--Mrs. BOOdle--she passes out. "Bummer," says Gordon. It gets worse: Each vocabulary word begins with "boo," the kids all run away from Gordon's haunted lunchbox and then a fire breaks out and the fire alarm doesn't work. What's a ghost to do? A well-timed "BOO!" evacuates the school and wins Gordon the friendship of all. Lucke depicts Gordon as a droopy, gray-faced fellow with untied saddle shoes and a tendency to shed teeth when he talks. Readers will identify with Gordon's desire " fit in," but they may well be mystified by the arbritrariness of the setup. (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 August #5

Gordon leaves his old school in Ghost Town, where "everybody was a ghost," to attend Booniesville, where he's the only one of his kind. It doesn't take long for the other kids to notice that Gordon is different. His teacher passes out when she sees him, and he quickly realizes "his prize-winning, blood-curdling, hair-rising BOO! would not win him a single new friend here." But, in the end, it's Gordon's taboo word that saves the day. Fans of ghoulish comedy will find this plenty amusing, though Gordon's corpselike appearance may leave some on edge. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 August

PreS-Gr 2--"Being the new kid is a bummer," even for ghosts. At Gordon's old school, everyone was a ghost, but he's the only one at Booniesville Elementary School. As he enters his new classroom, all of the students stare in wide-eyed fear at the skeletal white phantom, and his teacher faints when he says hello. Trying to make friends at lunch isn't any easier because of the surprise his mother slipped into his lunchbox. Finally, Gordon discovers his special talent: his "prize-winning, bloodcurdling, hair-raising BOO" sounds the alarm when fire breaks out in the school kitchen. In Lucke's creepy and comical gouache illustrations, Gordon's bulging eyes and pasty white skull stand out on the mostly black background and are in contrast to his orange-yellow striped shirt and human classmates. Add in Pulver's straightforward dialogue and you have an amusing read-aloud that will show readers that even ghosts have a hard time being accepted in new surroundings.--Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY

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