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Reviewed by Bruce Arrington for Readers' Favorite
The Short Straw by Irene Mathias is a fun children’s illustrated story about a boy who, upon picking the shortest straw, is forced to go inside the local Haunted House, make it up to the right bedroom window and wave his flashlight to all who are watching from the outside before he can come out again. On Halloween night, no less. The story builds the suspense, capturing the fears and wild imagination that can erupt in a child’s mind during spooky challenges such as this. What takes place afterward will thrill and delight readers everywhere.
Have you ever read the book, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt? where the reader acts out what happens in the story, step by step, until the bear appears? This story came to mind while reading The Short Straw and I can envision a class filled with students, or children at home, echoing and acting out every single page in the book, with unbridled laughter and fun. The Short Straw by Irene Mathias is filled with detailed holiday color, a stylish blue script and excellent rhyming. It is fast paced, funny, and catches the hilarious and realistic responses when children confront something fearful. The watercolors used set the mood and the scene with fine style. The details of every picture engage the reader, encouraging them to turn each and every page, wondering what comes next. The Short Straw is sure to be a yearly favorite Halloween treat that you’ll want to read over and over again.