Parents' Guide to

The Secret of the Painted House

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Easy, fun read draws kids in with ghostly chills.

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Veteran author Marion Dane Bauer keeps the reading easy and the story intriguing in this transitional reader. Though a ghost story, with a nice goosebumpy chill that most kids will enjoy, it's never too scary. This tone is nicely matched by Leonid Gore's misty grayscale illustrations.

Many authors have discovered that there's something deliciously creepy about characters in paintings, and Bauer adds the intriguing variation of infinite levels of paintings within paintings. Combined with a forest/playhouse setting, and the magical idea of entering into a painting, this is a story that will keep young readers reading. And that's the purpose of a transitional novel -- to introduce this age to the pleasures of literature.

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