KidLit Book Review: Annie Was Warned by Jarrett J. Krosoczka


Annie was warned to stay away from the creepy Mongomery mansion.

Did it have spiders? Did it have bats? Was it haunted?

Annie was warned…but Annie wasn’t scared. Or was she?


  • Title: Annie Was Warned
  • Author/Illustrator: Jarrett J. Krosoczka
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
  • ISBN: 0375915672
  • Publication Date: August 1, 2003
  • For Ages: 3-7
  • Category: Picture Book
  • Spooky-Scary or Spooky-Fun? 🎃 Fun.


Annie is a brave girl who visits a haunted mansion alone on Halloween night (thereby making her my new best friend). The majority of the book follows her as she makes her way from her house through the deserted streets and spooky churchyard to the front steps of the mansion. Jarrett J. Krosoczka accomplishes quite a lot with very little the word count is only 208, but Annie Was Warned is a clever, spooky story that is smart, fun, and infinitely re-readable.

Krosoczka uses dynamic compositions and the steady angle of Annie’s flashlight to create a propulsive sense of movement toward her spooky destination. The eyes that we see in the background following Annie’s progress contribute to the eerie atmosphere and also provide clever hints as to what she will find when she gets to the haunted house.

Annie bravely makes her way to a haunted house in Annie Was Warned by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.

I won’t ruin the ending for you, but I will tell you that the suspense leads us to a wonderful surprise in a fold-out page that adds a nice interactive element to storytime. And I must add that I am very, very jealous of Annie. This is a terrific book to read at Halloween, but Krosoczka’s art and storytelling are so good that I think you should keep this one on your shelf year-round.


Annie Was Warned is great, spooky storytelling. I give this book 4.5 out of 5 coffins.

4.5 Coffins

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