Format: ARC (Hardcover available August, 2021)
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? This is a cute little Halloween story with a twist mixed in — almost like a seek-and-find. This story begins with a group of children enjoying the fall season and preparing for Halloween. This includes carving Jack-o-lanterns, gathering leaves, going on a hayride through the woods, navigating a corn maze, looking at treats in a candy store window, and trying on their Halloween costumes. The story continues with the children having a Halloween parade at school and then continuing their Halloween celebration in their neighborhood that evening. After collecting all their candy, the entire town gathers for a Halloween parade down the middle of the street.
Here’s the fun part–The text is rhyming and includes the repetitive phrase “Look around, the signs are clear. Halloween is getting near.” On each page, the reader sees one little girl noticing something that the other children do not see–a real Halloween creature! This includes a ghost, a witch on a broom, a mummy, and assorted other little creatures. This is mixed in with children that are in costume, but these creatures are clearly not in a costume. There is a two-page spread in both the beginning and back of the book that shows all the creatures so it would be a fun activity for children to spot them on the pages. However, it would be fun to see if they even notice or notice the little girl thinking something strange is happening. There is nothing too scary in this book–the creatures are cute and smiling, so I do not think young children will be bothered or scared by this.
Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing
To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children between the ages of two and five years old, especially if they are preparing for Halloween for the first time. The illustrations are filled with some of the more typical Halloween festivities, so young children will know what to expect.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries, preschools, daycare centers, anyone who works with children between the ages of two and five years old.
Where would you shelve it? Picture Books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.
Date of review: March 19, 2021