A costume kerfuffle may ruin Pig’s celebration of Halloween, but Pug’s quick thinking saves the day.
Pug and Pig have matching costumes for Halloween: tight-fitting black suits with glowing bones. Pig adores hers. Pug decidedly does not; he shreds it all over the yard. But while Pug doesn’t really care about the holiday, Pig cares very much. Whom will she share the day with? In a marvelous spread that shows Pug leaping off the easy chair and heading out the doggy door, Wan captures the dog’s emotions: sympathy for his sad friend, the spark of an idea, and determination to carry it out. He heads to the muddy corner of the yard and suddenly becomes Pig’s shadow, brown mud covering all of him except for an oval “mask” around his eyes. Together the best friends answer the door and pass out treats, go trick-or-treating, and enjoy the Halloween party. The final scene of the two, still in costume and snuggled in their house, is as satisfying as it gets. Gallion’s tale works on many different levels: as a look at clever problem-solving and compromise, as a friendship story, and as a text suitable for early readers, with plenty of repetition, simple vocabulary, and short sentences. Wan’s pencil-and-digital illustrations support all of this with spare backgrounds, simple details, and a focus on the friends’ relationship.
Delightful. (Picture book. 3-7)