Cover image for The skeleton in the closet
The skeleton in the closet
Schertle, Alice.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, 2003.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A scary skeleton terrorizes a boy in his bedroom while it searches his closet for clothes to wear.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.7 0.5 72287.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



There are both snickers and shivers awaiting readers in this wickedly funny rhyming story sure to tickle kids' ribs. Full color.

Author Notes

Alice Schertle was born in 1941. She graduated from the University of Southern California. This mother and former teacher is an award-winning poet and the author of over forty books. Her children's books include All You Need for a Beach, All You Need for a Snowman, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way, Little Blue Truck, A Very Hairy Bear, and Little Blue Truck's Christmas. She lives in Plainfield, Massachusetts.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 2. Got two shiny shin bones and little bone toes / but I'm wearin' no skin, so EVERYTHING shows / Comin' up to find some skeleton clothes! This hilarious picture book takes its title literally: a skeleton, tired of being bare-boned, ransacks a little boy's closet for a wardrobe. The boy narrates the tale in inventive, rap-inspired verse so catchy that even normally staid readers-aloud will find themselves bobbing their heads and funkifying their voices. There are moments of delicious suspense, but the bulbous-eyed, big-skulled skeleton is too funny looking to be frightening, and children soon recognize that he's more interested in fashion than flesh. Parents and kids alike will chuckle as the skeleton chooses a gleefully mismatched outfit topped off with heart-patterned boxer shorts. Jobling's stylized artwork hints at his background as the designer of Nick Jr.'s Bob the Builder--but maybe he'll now be known as the artist who made a skeleton expressive. Two thumb-bones-up for a storytime choice that won't keep preschoolers up at night. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Although many children fear the ghoul lurking in their closets, the bony apparition in Schertle's (When the Moon Is High) story plagues a boy by pillaging his closet's contents. After seemingly stalking the redheaded narrator for several pages (the mise en scenes are direct quotes from the horror movie canon), the skeleton reveals its raison d'etre: "I'm wearin' no skin, so everything shows-/ Comin' up to find some skeleton clothes!" Bypassing the boy completely, the skeleton heads for his wardrobe and assembles a fetching ensemble of valentine undershorts worn over a pair of jeans, a winter coat, a candy-cane scarf and a rainbow ski cap; on the final page, the hero reveals that the intruder has also donned the boy's teddy bear slippers (so "he'll be quiet, quiet, quiet"). Solemnly appraising the effort, hands on hips like an editor from Vogue, the boy pronounces, "When he came out I'd have to say/ he was looking good, in a skeleton way." Jobling (Frankenstein's Cat) fashions the bony fellow with an overlarge head, buck teeth and exuding an infectious bug-eyed glee as it discovers its inner clothes horse. Ages 6-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-A red-haired boy drawn in the style of a comic-book character tells readers about a child-sized skeleton with glowing green eyes that comes in the night to borrow his clothes. Schertle's rhythms build suspense but the growing dread coupled with the first view of the intruder may be a bit much for very young horror fans. The author excels at imagery ("-snoring like a motorcycle") and at making fun of the pop-eyed skeleton's search as he helps himself to spaceman underpants and a striped scarf, among many other items. Eventually, this creature looks more like a gawky toddler than a frightening skeleton, but the author grabs readers from behind again, saying, "-you might not hear him when he climbs your stairs. He'll be quiet, quiet, quiet, in my bedroom slipper bears." Delightfully scary, but not for the preschool set.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.