Eve Bunting has written over two hundred books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz, The Wall, Fly Away Home, and Train to Somewhere. She lives in Southern California. With more than thirty million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author/illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.
K-Gr 3 A Halloween offering that is sure to be snatched up year-round by children on the prowl for scary books. The rhymes are full of repetitions that give the text the quality of a chant. These marching rhythms advance a band of Halloween creatures along a winding country road. Bunting's strong verbs and Brett's clean, clear line drawings and vivid palette bring a devil, skeleton, ghost, etc., to life, and the effect is exciting but not in the least sinister or fear-inspiring. (Bunting's language does become a bit turgid at points, however.) The creatures are a troupe of spirited trick-or-treaters, but this is not known by the mother cat who tells story. Nor are readers aware of the identity of the narrator at the beginning. But as the parade progresses, and three more little eyes appear in the dark, readers begin to get a sense of those eyes warily watching the spectacle from a safe distance. Brett creates skillful shifts in visual perspective and effectively interprets the book's final turnabout: the tiny eyes, mere points of light, clustered under a house, are hidden so long as the trick-or-treaters are about. But when all is quiet, they suddenly blossom into cats that form their own parade and claim Halloween, just as the rising golden harvest moon at the book's beginning blossoms into a milky moon above them. Carefully planned and executed, illustrations and text nicely unified, this is well designed for group use and a fine introduction to Halloween story programs. Susan Powers, Berkeley Carroll Street School, Brooklyn
Two green eyes shine in the night sky and someone whispers, ``I peer outside, there's something there/ that makes me shiver, spikes my hair./ It must be Halloween.'' As the unnamed narrator looks on, a skeleton, a ghost, a vampire, a werewolf, witches, goblins, gremlins, a devil and a mummy pass by. The monsters are in fact children dressed up in Halloween costumes, but Brett's pictures are deliciously scary. They strike a perfect balance between the children's costumes and their imaginary personae, drawing readers into a make-believe world. When the children go indoors, the narrator and his friendsa gang of adventurous pussycatsstalk the streets to prowl till dawn. Luminescent colors glow eerily in the darkened neighborhood; this holiday poem possesses all the atmosphere of the spookiest Halloween. (4-8)
Carefully planned and executed, illustrations and text nicely unified, this is well designed for group use and a fine introduction to Halloween story programs. School Library Journal, Starred