Review: Just Say Boo! by Susan Hood

just say boo

Just Say Boo! by Susan Hood, illustrated by Jed Henry

If you are going to get just one Halloween book this season, this is the one!  Head out trick-or-treating with three siblings dressed up as a witch, a bat and a shark.  The neighborhood is filled with others out on Halloween, but there are still moments when you can be scared.  So what happens when you get a wobble in your knees from ghosts in the trees?  Or a wolf howls nearby?  Or the wind whips and whines through the trees?  You say BOO! 

Told in a rollicking rhyme, this book begs for audience participation.  The book follows a rhythm and pattern nicely, giving listeners the perfect cue to shout BOO! along with the story.  Hood nicely changes it up towards the end, reminding children to thank people for candy with a playful nod. 

Henry’s illustrations have a wonderful playfulness to them but also turn to the dark and shivery nicely too.  Once out on the streets, the colors turn to pure Halloween with oranges, purples and blacks adding to the atmosphere.  Back inside, there is lots of yellow, eliminating all of the creepy shadows nicely.

A perfect book for Halloween where you want audience participation and not to scare anyone.  This book is much more about the small shivers of Halloween than the big frights.  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from copy received from HarperCollins.

Parents and E-Book Sharing

joan ganz cooney

This summer, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center did a survey about parents habits in sharing e-books with children.  Their focus was specifically on families who had iPads, since that has emerged as the dominant device for books for children.  The entire study is worth a read, but here are some facts pulled from it:

  • Of parents who own an iPad, 72.5% of them have read e-books with their children.
  • Parents who did not share books on their iPad had a much stronger preference for print books.
  • 89.9% of parents who share e-books with their children reported that they read mostly print books.  Only 7.5% said they read the same amount of print and e-books with their children and 2.7% said they exclusively read e-books together.

I think that children’s books will prove a tough nut to crack for publishers.  Do you make the books interactive?  Is a book filled with videos and things to click on still a book in parents’ eyes?  Or do you convert over just the format of the print volume?  Aren’t opportunities being lost there? 

How do you feel about e-books and small children?  Are you a parent who shares e-books or not?