Over in the Hollow Book Poster Image

Over in the Hollow



Fun Halloween counting book is just spooky enough.

What parents need to know

Educational value

An exercise in counting different animals.

Positive messages

Adds humor and fun to characters that normally scare little ones, like ghosts and bats.

Positive role models

Shows families of animals enjoying time together.

Violence & scariness

The creatures in the hollow are a little creepy, but not overly so.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know this slightly spooky book is a Halloween take on the Olive A. Wadsworth’s counting rhyme, “Over in the Meadow.” The werewolf, witch, and monster denizens of this night world are neither too cute nor too scary.

Kids say

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What's the story?

In this clever variation on the classic poem, “Over in the Meadow,” vampires, mummies, and the like bite, lurch, and moan through the hollow. It starts with “a giant mother spider and her little spidey one” spinning cobwebs and counts up to 13 little ghosts and their mama with a “Boo!”

Is it any good?


With rhymes that don’t miss a beat and 13 moaning, groaning, and growling characters, this is a very enjoyable read-aloud. The comforting repetition makes the sound effects -- "'EEK!' shrieks the papa./'WE EEK!' shriek the ten." -- that much more fun.
S. Britt’s illustrations are rich with pattern and texture, bringing depth to the shadowy night. There are plenty of glowing eyes and sharp teeth, but the scare factor is very low. Kids and adults will enjoy the funny touches on each page, such as the werewolf wrangling his eight pups on leashes, a bat sporting aviator glasses, and the little vampires hanging by their teeth off their grandpa, whose own teeth are in a glass by his coffin.

Full of detail and humorous touches and rich with pattern and texture, bringing depth to the shadowy night.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the unique families in this book. Do any of them seem much like yours? How are they similar or different? Each family has something to say -- what would your family say?

  • Count the little creatures on each page. Which family has the same number of kids as yours? Find other things to count in each spread, such as the mice with the cats.

Book details

Author:Rebecca Dickinson
Illustrator:S. Britt
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Chronicle Books
Publication date:August 19, 2009
Number of pages:36
Publisher's recommended age(s):3 - 7

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 3 year old Written byGios Mommy May 5, 2011
You can count the "scary " Halloween guys! some are a bit scary.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great messages


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