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Hardly Haunted

Illustrated by Jessie Sima
LIST PRICE £8.49
PRICE MAY VARY BY RETAILER

From the bestselling creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes a delightfully spooky story about an old house who wants to be a home…even if her new family isn’t what she expected.

House has a problem.

She’s a little spooky. She’s a little cobwebby. Oh, no! What if she’s haunted?

She’s not sure, but…her hinges creak. Her pipes bang. And on windy days, the branches scritch-scratch at her windows. She tries to hold her breath and be as still as possible. If she’s on her best behavior, maybe a family will move in.

How will House ever find a family that doesn’t mind being haunted?

Photograph courtesy of Jon Banafato

Jessie Sima is an author/illustrator living and working in New York City. They grew up in a small town in southern New Jersey, unaware that they were a storyteller. Once they figured it out, they told their family and friends, who took it quite well. They are the author of Not Quite NarwhalHarriet Gets Carried AwayLove, ZSnow Pony and the Seven Miniature PoniesSpencer’s New PetJules vs. the Ocean; and Hardly Haunted. You can visit them at JessieSima.com.

Photograph courtesy of Jon Banafato

Jessie Sima is an author/illustrator living and working in New York City. They grew up in a small town in southern New Jersey, unaware that they were a storyteller. Once they figured it out, they told their family and friends, who took it quite well. They are the author of Not Quite NarwhalHarriet Gets Carried AwayLove, ZSnow Pony and the Seven Miniature PoniesSpencer’s New PetJules vs. the Ocean; and Hardly Haunted. You can visit them at JessieSima.com.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (July 20, 2021)
  • Length: 48 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534441712
  • Ages: 4 - 8

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Digital illustrations predominately in purples and gold provide a soft, spooky atmosphere to give the dwelling character. This is just right for a Halloween story hour, and children will enjoy repeating the spooky sounds on every page.

– Booklist

Sima’s lighthearted, cartoony style and cozy palette disarm the book of any frightening elements. The gentle, upbeat vibe makes it a fair choice to remind kids that their differences from others are the key to their belonging. 

– Kirkus Reviews

Sima’s text is more sweet than spooky, complemented by the digital illustrations’ cool palette of purples, blues, and greens. Various sounds to read aloud and visual details to pore over (the anthropomorphic house’s expressions, the ever-present black cat) will surely lead to repeat ­readings.

– Horn Book Magazine

Sima creates a lovely twist on finding one’s place in the world, told with a light touch and plenty of spooky onomatopoeia.

– Publishers Weekly

* "This celebration of being true to oneself makes it a perfect addition to every library’s picture book collection, and the spooky message is one that is welcome all year around."

– School Library Journal, starred review

More books from this author: Jessie Sima