Share at Halloween or use as an example of playing with chants and rhymes. Perhaps this title will inspire many magical...

IT'S RAINING BATS & FROGS

When gloomy weather threatens the Witch Parade, young Delia tries out various spells to change the weather.

As Delia swoops in for the Halloween event, the rain is “positively pouring buckets,” so Delia brandishes her wand declaring, “It’s raining, it’s pouring, / but raindrops are BORING. / Change the rainfall on my head. / Make it CATS and DOGS instead!” Though at first they enjoy the adorable animals falling from the sky, the witches soon begin to grumble again. Delia summons further odd pairings from above, such as hats and clogs as well as bats and frogs. But nothing seems to work to keep everyone happy. Delia decides to cast one more spell—to return things to the way they were. Her chant brings back the rain, and the parade proceeds to the delight of all. “The floats began to float. The marching band learned synchronized swimming.” All is well, but the final page turn reveals a future weather conundrum. Colby’s playful spells encourage interactive participation, while repetition of key phrases adds a pleasing rhythm. Henry also gets the illustrations right, with mostly gray tones punctuated by muted greens, purples, and orange to display the kindly coven of green-skinned gals hovering on their brooms.

Share at Halloween or use as an example of playing with chants and rhymes. Perhaps this title will inspire many magical spells. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-04992-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Not enough tricks to make this a treat.

HOW TO CATCH A WITCH

Another holiday title (How To Catch the Easter Bunny by Adam Wallace, illustrated by Elkerton, 2017) sticks to the popular series’ formula.

Rhyming four-line verses describe seven intrepid trick-or-treaters’ efforts to capture the witch haunting their Halloween. Rhyming roadblocks with toolbox is an acceptable stretch, but too often too many words or syllables in the lines throw off the cadence. Children familiar with earlier titles will recognize the traps set by the costume-clad kids—a pulley and box snare, a “Tunnel of Tricks.” Eventually they accept her invitation to “floss, bump, and boogie,” concluding “the dance party had hit the finale at last, / each dancing monster started to cheer! / There’s no doubt about it, we have to admit: / This witch threw the party of the year!” The kids are diverse, and their costumes are fanciful rather than scary—a unicorn, a dragon, a scarecrow, a red-haired child in a lab coat and bow tie, a wizard, and two space creatures. The monsters, goblins, ghosts, and jack-o'-lanterns, backgrounded by a turquoise and purple night sky, are sufficiently eerie. Still, there isn’t enough originality here to entice any but the most ardent fans of Halloween or the series. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Not enough tricks to make this a treat. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-72821-035-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A laugh-inducing Halloween read-along.

THE CRAYONS TRICK OR TREAT

The Crayons return in time for Halloween as vampire-costumed Purple coaches the dressed-up wax pack through its first trick-or-treating venture.

It takes five houses’ worth of door-knocks for this skeleton crew of seven to perfect the protocol, with enough outlandish flubs to generate giggles in Halloween-savvy preschoolers. At Door No. 1, Orange, dressed as a jack-o’-lantern, says, “Give us your candy, Lady.” At the next, the gang, encouraged by Purple to “think holiday,” responds with an impressive array of misguided greetings, including “Merry Christmas!” and “Happy American Cheese Month!” Later, White, levitating impressively in a ghost costume, overreacts to Halloween’s “scary” aspect by overwhelming residents with a “BOO!” Peach, unnamed here but recognizably wrapperless from the initial title, exuberantly (and inappropriately) repeats, “I’m naked!” Finally, the troupe perfects its treat-inducing line, though a certain ghost cannot resist an ad lib. This excursion, like many of the holiday-themed Crayon books, has a smaller trim size, a lower price point, and far less complexity than Daywalt and Jeffers’ first two Crayon titles. Still, the pair deftly let young children in on the jokes through funny, hand-lettered dialogue and the visually telegraphed, all-in haplessness of this well-branded band. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A laugh-inducing Halloween read-along. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-62102-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more