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Hardly Haunted

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From the bestselling creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes a delightfully spooky story about an old house who wants to be a home…even if her new family isn’t what she expected. House has a problem. She’s a little spooky. She’s a little cobwebby. Oh, no! What if she’s haunted? She’s not sure, but…her hinges creak. Her pipes bang. And on windy days, the branches scritch-scratch From the bestselling creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes a delightfully spooky story about an old house who wants to be a home…even if her new family isn’t what she expected. House has a problem. She’s a little spooky. She’s a little cobwebby. Oh, no! What if she’s haunted? She’s not sure, but…her hinges creak. Her pipes bang. And on windy days, the branches scritch-scratch at her windows. She tries to hold her breath and be as still as possible. If she’s on her best behavior, maybe a family will move in. How will House ever find a family that doesn’t mind being haunted?


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From the bestselling creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes a delightfully spooky story about an old house who wants to be a home…even if her new family isn’t what she expected. House has a problem. She’s a little spooky. She’s a little cobwebby. Oh, no! What if she’s haunted? She’s not sure, but…her hinges creak. Her pipes bang. And on windy days, the branches scritch-scratch From the bestselling creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes a delightfully spooky story about an old house who wants to be a home…even if her new family isn’t what she expected. House has a problem. She’s a little spooky. She’s a little cobwebby. Oh, no! What if she’s haunted? She’s not sure, but…her hinges creak. Her pipes bang. And on windy days, the branches scritch-scratch at her windows. She tries to hold her breath and be as still as possible. If she’s on her best behavior, maybe a family will move in. How will House ever find a family that doesn’t mind being haunted?

30 review for Hardly Haunted

  1. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This was my first Halloween book of the season. Yes, I realize I’m a bit early, but I couldn’t wait! I had to kick-start the spooky season. Jessie Sima’s Hardly Haunted is more cute than scary, but it still made me Halloween happy. :) Our tale is told by a lonely, abandoned house, who squeaks, rattles, and howls. Is she haunted ? No one is going to want to live in a haunted house. Sooo…she tries and tries not to creak and moan and scare. But how can she be happy pretending to be something she’s n This was my first Halloween book of the season. Yes, I realize I’m a bit early, but I couldn’t wait! I had to kick-start the spooky season. Jessie Sima’s Hardly Haunted is more cute than scary, but it still made me Halloween happy. :) Our tale is told by a lonely, abandoned house, who squeaks, rattles, and howls. Is she haunted ? No one is going to want to live in a haunted house. Sooo…she tries and tries not to creak and moan and scare. But how can she be happy pretending to be something she’s not? I love the color palette of these pages. The purples are gorgeous! The different shades of blues and purples bring just the right amount of haunted to the house and night. A sweet tale about being yourself and finding people in life who love you just the way you are. Recommended read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stay Fetters

    "She liked being noisy. Maybe she liked being haunted." This book was the perfect fit for me. I loved every single squeaky and creaky page. If this book teaches you anything, it's to not change for anyone. Always be yourself and be proud of who you are. I now need this book for my collection! "She liked being noisy. Maybe she liked being haunted." This book was the perfect fit for me. I loved every single squeaky and creaky page. If this book teaches you anything, it's to not change for anyone. Always be yourself and be proud of who you are. I now need this book for my collection!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dax

    This had me laughing out loud and just truly falling in love! I wish I could live in this "hardly haunted" house!! Me the whole time I was reading it: This had me laughing out loud and just truly falling in love! I wish I could live in this "hardly haunted" house!! Me the whole time I was reading it:

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura Harrison

    Gorgeous picture book by the uber talented Jessie Sima. Hardly Haunted was perfection for me until the conclusion. Too easy and uninspired. I did expect more. Still, children will adore the illustrations and the reader can always tweak how the story ends if desired. Looking forward to Sima's next book! Gorgeous picture book by the uber talented Jessie Sima. Hardly Haunted was perfection for me until the conclusion. Too easy and uninspired. I did expect more. Still, children will adore the illustrations and the reader can always tweak how the story ends if desired. Looking forward to Sima's next book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Riana (RianaInTheStacks)

    An adorable book about a house that thinks it must be haunted since no one lives with her. She tries real hard to not let her steps squuuueak or her doors creeeeak, and yet, it can't be helped. But then, she realizes it's kinda fun being haunted and she just needs to find a family that appreciates her for who she is. When a ghost family moves in, it's the perfect match! An adorable book about a house that thinks it must be haunted since no one lives with her. She tries real hard to not let her steps squuuueak or her doors creeeeak, and yet, it can't be helped. But then, she realizes it's kinda fun being haunted and she just needs to find a family that appreciates her for who she is. When a ghost family moves in, it's the perfect match!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Milton Public Library

    House is lonely and wants someone to come and live in her. She is old, creaky, and a little bit cobwebby. She tries to stop all of her noises so that someone will want to live with her! Even so, she discovers that it is actually quite fun to be different and a little haunted. Not to worry though, the story has a happy ending with a family who does end up making the house into a home. The talented Jessie Sima does it again! This is a beautiful picture book with a fun and endearing story. I love th House is lonely and wants someone to come and live in her. She is old, creaky, and a little bit cobwebby. She tries to stop all of her noises so that someone will want to live with her! Even so, she discovers that it is actually quite fun to be different and a little haunted. Not to worry though, the story has a happy ending with a family who does end up making the house into a home. The talented Jessie Sima does it again! This is a beautiful picture book with a fun and endearing story. I love this book because it is a fun story, a lovely main character, and has beautiful illustrations. This is a great Halloween book that isn't super scary, so it is good for readers of all ages. I definitely recommend! Find it today: https://ent.sharelibraries.info/clien... Ashley C. / Milton Public Library #CheckOutMPL

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I love Jessie Sima’s books and this is adorable!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa D

    Loved it!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tonja Drecker

    While the cover tends to spookiness...and the title makes suspicions of chills run high...this is a book full of heart. A house has stood empty and alone for many, many years despite the for sale sign in the front yard. Knowing that it comes across as spooky, the house does its best to give a normal...although dirty and worn...impression. No matter how hard it tries, there are things beyond its control to make it appear eerie again. By the looks of it, the house will be lonely as long as it stand While the cover tends to spookiness...and the title makes suspicions of chills run high...this is a book full of heart. A house has stood empty and alone for many, many years despite the for sale sign in the front yard. Knowing that it comes across as spooky, the house does its best to give a normal...although dirty and worn...impression. No matter how hard it tries, there are things beyond its control to make it appear eerie again. By the looks of it, the house will be lonely as long as it stands. This is such a cute book! The house is hard not to feel sorry for as it only wants to have company. It is a run-down house, but that doesn't mean it's creepy or bad. It's a situation many listeners will connect with and if they're like me, wish they could give the house a hug. Or even move in themselves. It's hard not to hold your breath as the house gives its all to become less spooky, and a sigh comes when it doesn't work. In other words, this house captivates the reader and brings across the various emotions masterfully. Each page only holds a line or two of text, and this swoops right along with the illustrations. Sound effects weave in as well and allow the eerie sounds to top off the atmosphere. Still, it's easy to read and makes a wonderful read-aloud. Readers, who have a fairly good handle on words, can tackle this one on their own as well. The illustrations are well done and let the personality of the house shine. There are enough details to keep listeners/readers involved and give something to gaze at when flipping through on their own. The visual creepy and dirty aspects of the house play along with the text to create a balance between both. And there is the wonderful, warming message at the end, which leaves the reader/listener with a smile. I received an ARC copy and enjoyed this one quite a bit.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    A house stood on a hill. It was worried because it didn’t have a family to live in it. In fact, the house wondered if it might be haunted! But it didn’t want to be haunted, and hoped that if it behaved perfectly no one would notice that it was spooky. Still, there was nothing to be done about the cobwebs and dust, or the squeaky doors and stairs or the rattles in the pipes. The house tried very hard, staying perfectly still and quiet, holding her breath. But when the wind came, she couldn’t stop A house stood on a hill. It was worried because it didn’t have a family to live in it. In fact, the house wondered if it might be haunted! But it didn’t want to be haunted, and hoped that if it behaved perfectly no one would notice that it was spooky. Still, there was nothing to be done about the cobwebs and dust, or the squeaky doors and stairs or the rattles in the pipes. The house tried very hard, staying perfectly still and quiet, holding her breath. But when the wind came, she couldn’t stop the scratch of branches on the roof or the groan of the wind through her windows. It let the house relax again, accepting that she was just spooky. Now all she needed was a family looking for a haunted house that rattled, groaned and squeaked. This picture book reads aloud really nicely, inviting readers into the struggle of a house that dreams of being entirely different than she is. The writing draws out the noises that the house makes, featuring them so that children listening to the story can help make the sounds too. The house itself is a marvelous character, struggling to be different until she accepts herself as she is with all her creaks and scratches. The art is just the right amount of spooky for preschoolers, full of purple shadows, long green grass and a black cat to enter the house with. The house herself uses her windows to great effect to smile, worry, and eventually come alight in the night. A little spooky, full of noise and lots of fun. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Thompson McLeod

    A lonely, empty house on a hill thinks she might be haunted. She wants someone to buy her and move in and make her a home, but no one does. Only the funny black cat hangs out with her. House decides to be very quiet and maybe no one will notice she's haunted. But here comes a powerful wind that makes her roof moan, her foundation groan, her pipes rattle. House is impressed because all that noise was fun! She decides she'll wait for the right family who doesn't mind the fact that she's haunted. A A lonely, empty house on a hill thinks she might be haunted. She wants someone to buy her and move in and make her a home, but no one does. Only the funny black cat hangs out with her. House decides to be very quiet and maybe no one will notice she's haunted. But here comes a powerful wind that makes her roof moan, her foundation groan, her pipes rattle. House is impressed because all that noise was fun! She decides she'll wait for the right family who doesn't mind the fact that she's haunted. And a family of ghosts decide to make House their home. The house on the hill is happy. Adult readers will have fun reading the creepy noises out loud and young readers will giggle and help with the "reading" of the noises. The character of House is a brilliant storytelling decision to personify a haunted house as the main character. Creative and whimsical, outright fun and only a teensy bit spooky, this is a great pick for Halloween story time. Highly, highly recommended for all young readers. This book is likely to be in the mix for many awards. See all my reviews at YA Books (and MG, PB and adult) What We're Reading Now

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    It is impossible to not be completely charmed by a Jessie Sima book! This is the story of House, the sweetest old building you've ever had the pleasure to meet. House is worried, though-- because she's old, creaky, and empty, she's worried no one will want to move in... well, aside from the little black cat that traipses throughout her stairways. Thankfully, since she's such a polite architectural marvel, this haunted house is bound to become a haunted home. Original, sweet, and definitely heart It is impossible to not be completely charmed by a Jessie Sima book! This is the story of House, the sweetest old building you've ever had the pleasure to meet. House is worried, though-- because she's old, creaky, and empty, she's worried no one will want to move in... well, aside from the little black cat that traipses throughout her stairways. Thankfully, since she's such a polite architectural marvel, this haunted house is bound to become a haunted home. Original, sweet, and definitely heartwarming, even if House can't help letting in a draft.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Beautiful illustrations, but overall fairly disappointing. The black cat can only be found on 15/20 pages but I appreciate when artists put a cat in every page so readers can have fun searching for it. And at 15/20 pages, you might as well put the cat on the remaining 5 pages. House keeps calling herself haunted, when I don't think she knows what that word means. Figure it out, House. Finally when she accepts herself for who she is, a family of ghosts move in, so she doesn't have to keep lying ab Beautiful illustrations, but overall fairly disappointing. The black cat can only be found on 15/20 pages but I appreciate when artists put a cat in every page so readers can have fun searching for it. And at 15/20 pages, you might as well put the cat on the remaining 5 pages. House keeps calling herself haunted, when I don't think she knows what that word means. Figure it out, House. Finally when she accepts herself for who she is, a family of ghosts move in, so she doesn't have to keep lying about being haunted in the end.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Erin Buhr

    A house stands empty and due to it's creaking and cobwebs it is afraid that it might be haunted. The house does it's best to not be creepy, but it can't seem to control it. When it ultimately embraces it's haunted qualities, it finds a family that loves it for who it is. I love this positive message for kids and how it's portrayed in such a playful way. A great book for Halloween that has an extra layer of loving who you are that's perfect anytime. A house stands empty and due to it's creaking and cobwebs it is afraid that it might be haunted. The house does it's best to not be creepy, but it can't seem to control it. When it ultimately embraces it's haunted qualities, it finds a family that loves it for who it is. I love this positive message for kids and how it's portrayed in such a playful way. A great book for Halloween that has an extra layer of loving who you are that's perfect anytime.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Ann

    One of my new favorite Halloween picture books ever. Trust me, your kids are going to be obsessed with this one! Perfect for teaching so many things! -Onomatopoeia -Plot -Setting -Characterization (the house acts as the character in this one!) -Theme -Problem/Solution The illustrations add so much to the story. There are so many fun details hidden throughout the pages. I LOVED this one so much! Thanks for my early copy, Simon & Schuster!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    Clever story about a lonely house who wants a family. The house is worried she is haunted and tries to stay silent. Readers will love reading along with all the sounds and watching the house figure out she likes being haunted. By the end of the book, a family has moved in and they are perfect residents. Fun read aloud.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rosie

    I really enjoyed this children’s book. The artwork was well done and colourful and the message - of just being proud to be who you are even if that makes you haunted!- is great too. Loved the little cat that looked panicked on each page too.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Loar

    A short, sweet picture book about being true to yourself and belonging. A great addition to any Halloween collection. Preliminary proofs were consulted. Publication date is set for July 20, 2021.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kaydee

    My Halloween obsessed four year old "LOVED IT!" I liked it, too. My Halloween obsessed four year old "LOVED IT!" I liked it, too.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Taryn Celeste

    Super cute story 🙂

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Such a simple, cute, yet brilliant book with a deep message not only about houses but how we see ourselves. This is what children’s books are meant to be.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Not my favorite but very cute

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lake Shore Library

    I honestly hoped for a different ending, which is odd to say for a kid's book. I liked the concept, though. I honestly hoped for a different ending, which is odd to say for a kid's book. I liked the concept, though.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Loved this book. Don't really have anything negative to say. Was an enjoyable, quick read. Loved this book. Don't really have anything negative to say. Was an enjoyable, quick read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Cute story about a lonely house that thinks the reason why people don't want to live there is because it is haunted. I love Sima's illustrations. My favorite by far was the cat! Cute story about a lonely house that thinks the reason why people don't want to live there is because it is haunted. I love Sima's illustrations. My favorite by far was the cat!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This was very lovely and will be fun for October. Recommended.

  27. 4 out of 5

    E.F.

    Delightful!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Annese

    Another hit from Jessie Sima! I am a fan.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Keara Gowen

    Very adorable book very consistent and well worded.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    What a lovely story! Simply told, but beautifully executed with absolutely gorgeous accompanying illustrations. Looking forward to suggesting this title to our families at my library!

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