A Halloween-themed variation on the traditional song.
A costumed cast of children acts out verses set to the familiar tune. The white type of the verse is easy to read against dark backgrounds. One word in each verse is highlighted and set in all-caps: “If you’re WITCHY and you know it, mix a brew” is paired with a white child wearing glasses and a witch’s hat. A light-skinned child with curly hair and false fangs is “fiendish”; a brown-skinned kid in a wolf costume howls with a dog under a smiling moon; an Asian-presenting child wears a scarecrow costume. There’s also a “spooky” ghost, a “greedy” pirate, etc. All eight characters appear for the last verse, which ends predictably, “If you’re scary and you know it—Trick or Treat!” The attempt to represent racial diversity is admirable, though the drawings are little more than cartoon stereotypes. The costumes (particularly the “frightful” scarecrow) may be puzzling for youngsters not already familiar with Halloween tropes, making this an introduction to the observance, but the five-line verses are wordy for toddlers for whom board books are required. Maintaining the predictable rhyme scheme of the original helps address that concern.
A totally unscary addition to the Halloween shelf, useful in the few weeks leading up to the holiday. (Board book. 2-4)