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Children's LiteratureHallowe'en costumes are not what they were—hoboes are now the homeless, gypsies are Travelers, Indian chiefs are Native Americans. It is time to abandon stereotypes and find new models for costumes from—where else?—consumerism and technology. Plans in this construction manual range from the pretty (cupcake, basket of flowers, heart-shaped box of candy) to the amusing (bacon and eggs, a cyclops, an ear of corn), and the technological (cell phone, racing car, speedboat). The title, however, is a bit misleading: no one will be ready to "go" after half-an-hour of gluing. Lists of tools include adults-only hot glue guns, craft knives, wire cutters, and drills. One costume, can need as many as 28 materials, and tips on where to buy them suggest that money will be spent. Full-page color photos show the unusual finished products, while the text includes step-by-step directions and drawings of the tricky parts. Warning: these costumes cannot be made by younger children; even teens will probably have trouble with them. The author, an artist with a costumer mother, has more experience than most parents, who will need to spend a good deal of time and labor on each one. But if Mom and Dad are willing to undertake the project, it could be great fun to dress for a party as a red and white box of popcorn or a bright blue octopus, as well as satisfying for the creators. Just be sure to read the introduction! 2004, Sterling, Ages 16 to adult parent.
—Barbara L. Talcroft