Don't Open the Door!


56 pages
ISBN 0-7737-6137-3
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Leanne Franson
Reviewed by Anne Hutchings

Anne Hutchings, a former elementary-school teacher-librarian with the
Durham Board of Education, is an educational consultant.


It’s Friday—sleepover night for three young friends. Mother finds it
necessary to go next door for a moment, locking the door behind her and
cautioning the boys, “Don’t open the door! Not for anybody!” In
her absence, the boys entertain themselves by telling spooky stories.

The stories the boys tell are adaptations of Bohemian, Guyanese, and
Peruvian folk tales, all with the theme of not opening the door to
strangers. The third tale is left unfinished (readers are later
challenged to finish the story themselves) when a loud knocking is heard
at the door. Unlike the characters in their stories, these boys heed
Mother’s admonition and do not open the door. Diving under the bed,
they huddle, terrified. Young readers who are already spooky-tale
enthusiasts will delight in the suspenseful, surprise ending.

In her illustrations, Leanne Franson has indicated that the boys, like
their tales, are from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. This in itself
makes the book a valuable addition to school and library collections.
Highly recommended.


Charles, Veronika Martenova., “Don't Open the Door!,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,