This is a very different story from Polacco, who usually writes realistic stories, often from her own experience. The Graves family moves into a normal, suburban neighborhood. They paint their house blood red. No one in the neighborhood wants to visit them after that! Finally, Seth and Sara, who live across the street, decide to try to make friends with the Graves children. They are successful, but are never invited into the Graves' house, until one day when the oldest Graves, Hieronymus, invites Seth and Sara to help him babysit his quadruplet sisters. The walls of the house appear to be painted dull black, but they turn out to be covered with spiders (his father's pets)! In the kitchen is the family's 'baby' Venus flytrap, which is growing all the time. Mrs. Graves takes her Venus flytrap to the local Garden club meeting, where the plant not only eats all the food for the tea, but all the other ladies' hats, as well. Due to this incident, the rest of the neighbors have a difficult time accepting the Graves, until the local television host of a home decorating show comes to town looking to give away the 'Best Decorated House Award.' Whose house will win? This is a funny choice for the Halloween season, or just for children who like to laugh at their fears.
Date read: 4/28/2009