The Good, the Bad, and the Spooky by Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald

The Good, the Bad, and the Spooky by Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald. Harper, 2021. 9780062954541 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover picture book

What did you like about the book? Sunflower seed is cranky; it is his favorite holiday (Halloween) but he can’t come up with a costume. What’s a seed to do? Readers will sympathize with his plight and how he comes up with comical ideas to postpone the holiday in his community. Themes of community and acceptance will not be lost on readers as the cranky, yet adorable, seed struggles with his emotions. Utilizing digital techniques to illustrate endearing and slightly comical seeds, Oswald does a wonderful job anthropomorphizing this part of the plant world.  Humorous pictures and text will have readers begging for a second reading of this engaging tale. Large fonts and kinetic illustrations are sure to make this a hit with readers of all ages. A good beginning resource for discussions on mood. Stickers at the front of the book will be a hit with fans of the holiday. 

Anything you didn’t like about it? The crankiness of the main character is a little over the top.

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers, in grades preK to 4, who enjoyed John’s other picture books will not be disappointed with this title.  

Who should buy this book? This would be a good purchase for early elementary schools, story time groups, or public libraries that cannot get enough of John’s books or need resources for emotion lessons.

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? I feel that this title would reside near the top of the “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: January 23, 2022

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