Laden puts a Halloween spin on her successful wordplay board books, Peek-a-Who? (2000) and Peek-a-Zoo! (2014).
Following the same pattern as in the previous titles, a die-cut opening reveals part of a picture and a few visual clues so that toddlers can guess what the page turn might uncover. As with Peek-a-Zoo!, there are only so many words that rhyme with “boo.” Some of the choices this time around are quite a stretch, especially for the board-book set. “Brew,” “flew,” and “crew” are not exactly standard toddler language, so adult readers will need to be ready to help tots negotiate it. The picture of a pumpkin labelled “peek-a-goo” makes sense only for children older than this book’s audience, who know what will happen to the jack-o’-lantern when the festivities are over. Illustrations in Laden's signature gouache style with all the expected Halloween icons—fall leaves, skeletons, spiders, mice—provide a mild “eww” factor. The final page turn is no surprise—a Mylar mirror set where a ghost’s face might be. The concluding question—“Who are you?”—alludes to the tradition of costumes and trick-or-treat and could be helpful in familiarizing the youngest readers with it.
A good-enough choice for parents and teachers to use to get the youngest goblins excited about many adults’ favorite holiday while introducing sophisticated, though still one-syllable, vocabulary. (Board book. 1-3)