And Then Comes Halloween

Overview

When nighttime creeps closer to suppertime, And red and gold seep into green leaves...Then it’s time to decide what to be.

As soon as geese fly south, children take autumn's cue to start their preparations: it’s almost Halloween! With poetic language and vivid collage illustrations, Tom Brenner and Holly Meade follow all the familiar rituals, from hanging paper skeletons to carving pumpkins, from costume-making to trick-or-treating. Halloween lovers will be eager to grab a bag ...

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Overview

When nighttime creeps closer to suppertime, And red and gold seep into green leaves...Then it’s time to decide what to be.

As soon as geese fly south, children take autumn's cue to start their preparations: it’s almost Halloween! With poetic language and vivid collage illustrations, Tom Brenner and Holly Meade follow all the familiar rituals, from hanging paper skeletons to carving pumpkins, from costume-making to trick-or-treating. Halloween lovers will be eager to grab a bag or bucket and join them on this lively and lyrical journey.

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Editorial Reviews

Lawrence Downes
as sweet a marriage of words and pictures as you could hope for…Brenner's text and Meade's cut-paper collages summon a family, a neighborhood, a whole world attuned to the simple pleasures of a homemade Halloween
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Brenner's debut picture book delicately evokes the arrival of Halloween, explaining the right time to engage in seasonal activities, such as carving pumpkins and picking costumes (“When Papa stacks firewood under the eaves, and a V of geese squawks its way south, and chilly morning air turns noses pink... Then cut out paper witches on brooms and dangle skeletons in doorways”). In Meade's watercolor collages, leaves swirl and paper bats fly as boys and girls prepare for the big event. A comforting, atmospheric take on Halloween night, as “the air rings with laughter and shrieks.” Ages 4–7. (July)
Children's Literature - Summer Whiting
An autumn chill hangs in the air as children prepare for Halloween. The adept depictions of paper witches, jack-o-lanterns and costumes create a vivid narrative of fall. Author Tom Brenner uses the words "when" and "then" throughout the story, allowing the reader to learn time sequence in a bewitching manner. He leaves out no detail and includes everything from decorating to trick-or-treating to (most importantly) eating candy! The illustrations, created with watercolors and collages, seem to pop off of the pages. They produce an exemplary likeness of autumn. Readers will enjoy this story at any time of the year, but it is sure to become a favorite each October. This will make an excellent addition to the elementary classroom either as a read-aloud for grades K-2 or as an introduction to sensory and detailed writing for grade 3. Students will find extensive examples of descriptive language as well as imagery. Reviewer: Summer Whiting
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—When autumn arrives, a group of suburban children and their parents rake leaves, carve pumpkins, decorate yards and porches, and make Halloween costumes. The big day comes at last, and the children go trick-or-treating. As the story closes, they share their treats with friends and then start planning next year's costumes as they get ready for bed. A special visual treat throughout the story is the children's pet black cat that appears on each spread. The author effectively uses a repeating pattern of alternating pages with "When…" and "Then…" to move the minimal plot along. The descriptions beautifully evoke the feeling of fall—from the V of geese squawking their way south to the dried corn husks that sound like grasshoppers. The watercolor and collage art contributes to the autumnal mood, and the varied perspectives and page design make the story more dynamic. The text and illustrations are a perfect complement to one another, emphasizing creative homemade decorations and costumes and minimal adult intervention. A fun read-aloud to get in the spirit of Halloween.—Marilyn Ackerman, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A present-tense evocation of the season leads ineluctably to Halloween: "WHEN neighbors rake fallen leaves into piles, / and the sky is that certain deep blue, / and bins of pumpkins arrive at the grocery store . . . / THEN bring one home and scoop and carve . . . ." Brenner's gentle text captures the anticipation and the execution of a perfect Halloween, well-chosen words and a keen understanding of what's important ("Dump the bags of candy on the floor") getting to the heart of the event. Meade's watercolor collages modulate from the vibrant hues of early autumn to the washed-out golds and greens of late October in the North Country, depicting flocks of children trick-or-treating in an idealized, cheerfully lit neighborhood. The way Halloween should be. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763652999
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 7/12/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Brenner says of his inspiration for AND THEN COMES HALLOWEEN, his first book for children, "I watched October dress up for one last colorful romp before winter and felt the wild energy that sends kids out wearing capes or weird hats to rule the street for a night." He lives on Vashon Island, Washington.

Holly Meade (1956-2013) wrote and illustrated IF I NEVER FOREVER ENDEAVOR. She earned a Caldecott Honor for her illustrations in HUSH! A THAI LULLABY by Minfong Ho. She also illustrated AND THEN COMES HALLOWEEN by Tom Brenner; ON THE FARM, IN THE WILD, and IN THE SEA by David Elliott; and many others.

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