Alpha Oops! H Is for Halloween

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Alpha Oops! H Is for Halloween by Alethea Kontis, illustrated by Bob Kolar

The mixed up alphabet antics continue in this second Alpha Oops book.  A isn’t ready to go on, but H has to start a Halloween book anyway.  H starts with Halloween, and the other letters join in for a Halloween-themed alphabet that is not in any particular order.  As the letters reveal themselves, poor B keeps on trying to get his word in but is upstaged each time.  He tries to be a buccaneer, but P is wearing the same costume for pirate.  X has trouble finding the perfect word too, but S is there with a great idea.  Keep an eye on the bottom of the page as the alphabet fills in with pumpkins bearing the letters that are in alphabetical order.  You will just have to wait until the end of the book to find out what B has in store for you!

This book is filled with laughs thanks to the underlying story of the letters putting on a show.  The asides from the different letters are very funny, offering a deeper story to this book than just the alphabet and letters. It turns this book into one that children too old for regular alphabet books will really enjoy. 

Kolar’s illustrations are filled with great deep colors from an eerie yellowy green to vibrant reds to glowing orange.  The book fairly pops with color and action.  Make sure to take the time to look at the illustrations because he has filled them with critters, candy and plenty of additional laughs. 

A bright, funny alphabet book that is a perfect Halloween treat.  No trick.  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from library copy.

The Halloween Kid

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The Halloween Kid by Rhode Montijo

In a unique mix of wild west action and Halloween treats, this book tells the tall tale of the Halloween Kid.  The Halloween Kid keeps Halloween safe for all children going trick-or-treating.  Riding his trusty steed, he is able to truss up toilet paper mummies, wrestle vampires, tickle ghosts into submission.  He was so good at it that Halloween was quiet for some time.  But then the Goodie Goblins came to town and folks started talking about canceling Halloween entirely.  The Halloween Kid hadn’t had to fight off baddies for a long time, so he was rusty.  Unfortunately, that made him the target of an ambush.  Now who can save The Halloween Kid?

Montijo has written a book in a slow drawl that is filled with plenty of action and lots of Halloween creatures.  While the Halloween Kid is the powerful hero of the story, so are the children in the book.  This is a book all about kid power and courage.  The illustrations are done in a limited autumnal palette of oranges, yellows and black.  They have a real cartoon appeal to them.  Interestingly, they have been marked up a little as if printed on newsprint that has transferred to other pages.  It makes for a book that feels timeless and well loved. 

A Halloween story perfect for preschool audiences who would like a few monsters but almost no scares.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Simon & Schuster.