Friday, October 23, 2009


BOO TO YOU! by Lois Ehlert (Beach Lane)
A raccoon or a squirrel might bite a veggie,
But a cat loves meat, and that makes us edgy.

The mice are planning an autumnal celebration, but guess who they didn't invite? Their nemesis will have to crash that party, but at his peril, as these mice are prepared to scare! Busy collage illustrations camouflage the turquoise torn-paper mice, but nothing can hide the pumpkin seed teeth of the cat against a midnight black background. One part spooky and two parts seasonal, visuals are this story's strength, and the last page sports a double page spread of harvest fruits, vegetables and fauna all labeled and ready for pre-school pointing and naming. This book does a good job of bringing outdoor elements into the cozy confines of the binding; Lois Ehlert's style always makes use of the interesting, variant quality of opening an artist's drawer, or this time, maybe going out into her fall garden amidst the pods and gourds and pumpkins. (4 and up)

Also of interest:
Halloween's coming, and little ones like a good scare, but not a big one. So here's another book that gently goes bump in the night.

DARK NIGHT by Dorothée de Monfried (Random House) If it's not one thing, it's another! As Felix hides in a hollow of a tree, he sees animals of increasing potential animosity warm themselves at the campfire: a wolf, a tiger, even a crocodile! But in that hollow is a doorknob that leads to a safe burrow, where Felix finds a friend who is just tricky enough to get him safely home again. The story is told with a page-turning immediacy that begs the question "what happens next!" while bold black-line and bright color illustrations play up the wild animal sizes and accent a story that speaks perfectly to a child's imagination...the kind that can think up scary things, and can also make them disappear.

For another pick with a similar theme and eye-popping scheme, pair with Ed Emberley's classic GO AWAY, BIG GREEN MONSTER! (or try his daughter Rebecca Emberley's newer offering, THERE WAS AN OLD MONSTER). Throw in Jan Pienkowski's LITTLE MONSTERS, and wah-lah, you've got an early childhood storytime that's more treat than trick. (4 and up)

Many more PlanetEsme Halloween picture book picks here and here!

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Anonymous said...

Go Away Big Green Monster is in our stack from the library to read--so glad to see a mention of it! I plan to add this blog to my blogroll--I absolutely love it! Thanks for having such a great resource out on the internet.

Kim Baise said...

ooo i must get a copy of dark night! thanks esme :)

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

I love childrens books and these look wonderful!


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