Magsamen adds assurances of unconditional love to the Halloween section of the board-book shelf.
Echoing the message of her I Love You, Little Pumpkin (2017), Magsamen employs many of the same tricks—flaps to lift, costumes to guess at, and a mirror. Here the mirror is partially hidden behind a felt jack-o-lantern–shaped flap on the front cover. Inside, the mirror is at the center of each right-hand page with a monkey, bunny, bumblebee, or astronaut costume drawn around it. Presumably, the child can “try on” each costume by looking in the mirror. However, the drawings are too abstract and become just so much visual noise; most young children will just focus on their own reflections. The pumpkin from the cover is visible on the left side of each spread, decorated with a prominent element of the featured costume—monkey or bunny ears, bumblebee wings, the astronaut’s helmet. Again, it’s far too abstract for children not yet out of the concrete-operations stage and not yet familiar with Halloween traditions. The final spread assures readers, “whatever you decide to be, you’ll always be amazing to me.” All this is illustrated with simply colored illustrations with “stitched” outlines meant to look like felt toys.
Too much trick; not enough treat. (Board book. 1-3)