Illustrated Halloween Fiction: Ghost Scouts written and illustrated by Taylor Dolan

Cover illustrations by Taylor Dolan, published by Guppy Books

The three books published to date in the Ghost Scouts series by author and illustrator Taylor Dolan are an exciting new choice to offer children of 9+ looking for a spooky treat this Halloween. They range in length from 120-150 pages, every one of which features coloured illustrations in this talented artist’s distinctive style. The exuberant stories bring an American slant to Halloween and the zany humour combined with wildly imaginative plots makes for an enjoyable reading experience.

In the first book, Welcome to Camp Croak, we are introduced to Lexie Wild, by whom all the stories are narrated. Her Grams was supposed to drop her off to summer camp at the Happy Hollow Camp for Joyful Boys and Girls. However, a glitch in her navigating skills leads Grams instead to Camp Croak where Lexie is greeted by a three-headed witch, who already knows her name! Lexie’s new roommates are a werewolf called Emmy LouLou, a skeleton called Bébé, a ghost called Sweet Boo and a zombie called Mary Shelley! Despite the swampy surroundings and unusual fellow campers, Lexie earns plenty of scout badges under the supervision of witch sisters Miss Parsleigh, Miss Sage and Miss Rosemarie, until the arrival of new scoutmaster Euphemia Vile changes everything! Read Welcome to Camp Croak to discover whether Lexie and friends can defeat Vile’s evil plans.

You’ll then want to rush straight onto Hullabaloo at Camp Croak where you’ll find Lexie and her fellow campers buzzing around preparing the camp for visitors’ weekend. However, when Lexie’s Grams does not arrive with the other visiting relatives, but is instead replaced by a mysterious stranger claiming to be her long lost mother, Lexie smells more than a swamp rat! Fortunately, her Grams has taught her some excellent code-cracking skills in the past and it seems that the time has come to decode the hidden message in a letter that “mother” has brought from Grams. More outrageously fast-paced and fun action in the bayou and a useful glossary of American terms awaits!

Halloween preparations are underway at Camp Croak in the third instalment of this series, Chaos at Camp Croak. Lexie fully expects that this year will be her best Halloween ever, but fake scoutmaster Euphemia Vile is back and this time she has not bothered with a disguise such is her determination to close the Camp! Chaos ensues when Lexie is tricked into performing a spell and it will take help from all her friends to put things right and enable the festivities to proceed on All Hallows Eve. Another madcap, creepy adventure awaits those who dare to venture into the realm of Camp Croak!

I am most grateful to Liz Scott and Guppy Books for sending me these three Ghost Scouts books to review in time for Halloween 2022.

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