|Would you want to live here?|
|The Duke is the creepy seated man.|
There are other characters you'll meet, but I did promise to tell you about the Todal. He looks like a blob of glup; he smells of old, unopened rooms; and he makes a sound like rabbits screaming. The Todal is waiting for the Duke to fail.
When the castle gets a human visitor -- his name is Xingu -- we find out he has several secrets about him, and he seems kind and good. But can he bring about the Duke's downfall? Or, even worse, the Todal's?
The 13 Clocks by James Thurber. 124 pages. 1950/reprint: The New York Review Children's Collection. Booktalk to intermediate grades, middle school.