Don’t be afraid of the dark.
It’s Christmas time in Sleepy Hollow, or ‘Spooky Town’ as evil mayor Maximus Kligore turned the town into when it became a Halloween tourist attraction year round. Now, I’m all for year round Halloween festivities (Bah humbug!) but Harry Moon is on a mission to light up the pervading darkness of the town.
Harry’s magic teacher and friend, Samson, has been attacked by the mayor and his evil hordes’ Fouling Curse, and it’s up to Harry and his Good Mischief Team to battle evil toys and the powers of darkness to save Samson – along with the town’s Christmas spirit. Along the way Harry makes a new friend, learning not to judge someone by their outward appearance.
I loved the inventiveness of the anti-Christmas carols that the evil mayor pumps through the town’s airwaves, and replacing chapter with verse was a simple yet appropriate nod to the carols, anti and otherwise, that featured in the book. My favourite descriptions related to the colours of Lady Dra Dra’s wigs, which at one point was puke-lemon.
The illustrations were a great blend of Christmas and Halloween, with the images at the beginning of each chapter foreshadowing an event to come. I find the expressions on the character’s faces in the illustrations for this series are particularly wonderful, especially the evil grin on the mayor’s face in this book.
I’m not quite sure why Jesus couldn’t just be called Jesus. It is a Christmas book after all and while He is referred to as the Great Magician, in keeping with the magical aspects throughout the series, it irked me. There are sections where the Bible is either quoted or paraphrased during the book but at no time are these attributed as such. I did think that the Mr B.L. Zebub character’s name was clever though.
I expects children will love reading about the different varieties of jellybeans described – blue Penguin Poop, purple Reindeer Poop, and for when the purple inevitably sells out there’s the standby red and green swirled Elf Poop! The Halloween fans will also appreciate the town’s festive decorations – green dragon tails forming garlands and light posts wrapped with white bandages mixed with fake blood to imitate candy canes.
“For the Great Magician and his deep magic can best be seen in the selfless love between one to another.”
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
While everyone is singing cheerful Christmas carols, Harry Moon and the Good Mischief Team march to a different song – Don’t be Afraid of the Dark. With their swords of light, the team battles against the Fouling Curse threatening Harry’s magic teacher, Samson Dupree, and the Sleepy Hollow Magic Shoppe. As evil armies of toys rise up, Harry must leave the sword behind to find a more powerful means to take down the darkness threatening Sleepy Hollow’s entire world.