This Dutch import, although well intentioned, fails to translate into a winning holiday book for preschoolers.
Readers follow a girl as she takes part in familiar activities on Halloween day: carving a jack-o’-lantern, making pumpkin soup and waffles, dressing up for a costume party, playing holiday games, going trick-or-treating and preparing for bedtime. When she needs a gift for a friend, she makes a spider out of a balloon and straws, a creative solution that will impress young ones who want to do things all by themselves. Slegers’ illustrations will remind readers of the brightly painted pictures framed with thick dark lines found in popular titles by Lucy Cousins (Maisy Goes to the City, 2011, etc.) and Jane Cabrera (The Wheels on the Bus, 2011, etc.). Sadly, the text stumbles. The translation into English is wordy and clunky at best: “Dad empties the seeds from a pumpkin. Then he uses a knife to cut a face in it. With an electric candle in the bottom of it, the pumpkin becomes…a scary jack-o’-lantern glowing in the dark!”
Pass on this slim offering, which adds little to the crowded field of preschool Halloween fare. (Picture book. 3-5)